Rapid E-Learning Challenge Day 4: Analog Storyboarding

Today I needed a brain dump. As happens frequently on training projects, I received new information from the project sponsor/SME that added significant content (a recommended book) to the course and may potentially alter my strategy and storyboard. Since I had already begun the storyboarding process, I found myself just spinning my ID wheels when I looked at my outline/storyboard in PPT. It was hard to see outside my existing plan.

So I decided to step away from my PC and try a non-digital approach. 1) Sketch out and brainstorm ideas on paper and a whiteboard. And then 2) storyboard on paper using sticky notes or print outs of blank PPT slide notes. Garr Reynolds (“Presentation Zen”) and others advocate this approach as a way to enhance right-brain activity and help get outside your box. 


my white board brainstorm

my white board brainstorm

I used to protest that storyboarding and brainstorming in a non-computer way added extra steps by having to then re-create it digitally. But sure enough, it helped dump the junk in my brain that made me feel stuck, and helped me to see the big picture in a way that is difficult in PPT or even a mind-mapping tool. I also found it easier to jump around, erase, scribble, doodle, start over, and whatever else I need to do. Sometimes technology is just too cumbersome.

My lesson of the day is that it seems that working on paper may be more efficient for hashing out ideas and screen flow. And move it to digital only after you have a good sense of direction.

 So while my rapid project ain’t so rapid right now, I am improving my processes which should help the next project take off more quickly. Now, if only I could get the SME to get all the relevant content to me BEFORE storyboarding begins!


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