Making Smart Moves


Can you distill an aspect of the problem into one small storyboard of five to six thumbnails? If yes, then take five to ten minutes to create a mini-storyboard on one piece of paper, and use that to discuss the problem with your client. As most UX’ers already know, getting a client to respond to sketches is easier than getting them to visualize an idea using words. To sell the idea of a comic, use a comic. However, if the problem can’t really be “seen” or “felt” by people, then the problem is likely not a good candidate for a comic book.

Are the people involved in the business problem moving through space, exchanging information or moving their bodies in some way? Stick figures or clothespin people will convey basic action and facial expressions just fine to trigger empathy in the reader. You can also use photographs with word bubbles to communicate activity, intent and dialog. But if you want to present more facial, emotional or physical detail in order to immerse the client in the problem, then you’ll need to make more detailed drawings.

In the time it takes to create one wireframe of a website landing page, you can sketch five to six thumbnails of a story. The trick is to limit your initial sketching to just a few minutes. Show a quick sketch and get a response from your client before proceeding down the road of more detail. You may find that a quick sketch is fine and just needs a bit of cleaning up in order to be presentable. Indeed, a single page is pretty easy to create, but if you fancy developing an entire book, even of modest length, then you’ll need to budget at minimum a week or two.