RE: Storyboarding Animated and Interactive Content in WBT

Subject: RE: Storyboarding Animated and Interactive Content in WBT
From: "walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 10:16:44 -0700

Storyboarding is documentation of design.

I disagree entirely about storyboards not being useful for describing
interactive content.

I have worked in the interactive media industry for 10+ years and we have
always used storyboards.

Philips NV went so far as to writing software that would import storyboards
and spit out skeletal interactive apps. Storyboards are only as useful as
your use of them.

On the weakest use of storyboards, it is only a screen dump with some notes
On the strongest use of storyboards, all screens are indexed to a flowchart,
all screen items are indexed and typed with behavior. Named descriptive
fields describe interactivity, specify soundtracks (by pathlist), specify
video tracks (by pathlist), and index target path storyboards. Software can
be written to interpret storyboards.

Storyboards are best used with an indexed full application navigation
flowchart (sometimes massive). As an example, the CD-i title "The History of
Flight" had a (approx.) 500 page storyboard that included the entire
narration, every photo, mpeg stream, and audio clip. The accompanying
storyboard was about 50 pages. A single writer maintained both the
storyboard and the flowchart for the design team.

As a rule for developing interactive applications, use at least four
documents as the design bible: the treatment, the flowchart, the storyboard,
and the design specification. All four of these documents are living
documents throughout the course of development. These documents together
form a hefty piece of work.

To find out more about using storyboards, etc., research the instructional
design field. There was not much really printed specifically on design
documents (use, development, interaction, etc.) when I last researched this
5 years ago. There may be more now, but I doubt it.

I would be glad to discuss storyboards, interactive development, etc.
off-list with anyone. A good portion of my MA and PhD research was in the
design process of interactive apps. The topic was somewhat chosen by my
employer (who paid for my education), Philips NV.

I could probably dredge up a bibliography of articles and books on
developing interactive apps. Most of them were pretty poor. The best
information I got on process was from the film industry (Hitchcock is
reputed to have invented the storyboard, but comic books are storyboards and
they pre-date Hitchcock by a century...). The best information I got on
developing interactive training was from the instructional design
departments, but that was also weak on practicality. Basically, I learned
from being on the job with professionals and interviewing designers (Part of
an unpublished paper includes interviews with 3 interactive designers on
their design processes).

Good luck

Walden miller


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RE: Storyboarding Animated and Interactive Content in WBT: From: Steve Hudson

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