Storyboarding for Fun

Sometimes.. I stick my hands in my armpits and smell them…Mary Catherine Gallegher (SNL). Did I get your attention, Okay lets read on then.

I got hooked onto story boarding during a UI design class and keep gravitating toward it most times when I am bored. Normally when I keep going back to things of the past, it means it has stood the test of time or it is great comfort food. Either ways it is a good thing. So today I write about Story boarding for fun. But what does it have to do with good ole Mary Catherine you ask?.

School taught Story boarding will pretty much follow the model shown below:

1) Start with an attention grabber
2) List your learning objectives
3) Write content for each learning objective

The content template for each learning objective could follow these rules:

* State the topic first
* Explain the concept/idea
* Discuss one idea or concept in one slide
* Write what is most important
* Address the learner
* Maintain a conversational tone
* Even if you are not using any interactive elements such as images or animations, write in an interactive manner by posing questions
* Keep text minimum in each slide
* Use images relevantly
* Make sure you link all slides appropriately

Okay, great. But my style of story boarding is a tad different, I call it the Mary Catherine Style of story boarding for lack of a better attention catching name. After all who would not remember an armpit smelling SNL character. Where is she now anyway?

The aforementioned style follows, laying out a scenario in your mind and then trying to see if you can move parts to make it better. Sort of like laying out cobble stones. I should do better with my metaphors perhaps and come up with some that you will relate to. To prove my point I will use scenarios that you can relate to.

I have a dear cousin who through the years of exposure to the internet, started out on a path of sending out daily emails containing jokes, motivational snippets, religious thoughts and sayings and such on a daily basis to his address list. He analyzes content on a daily basis and then sends that out to a select group, and depending on your maturity you could sometimes get a variety of stuff, if you know what I mean. Quite often when I come down in the morning, as I brew my morning pot of coffee I read the jokes and do chuckle. Some of the Jokes are very funny. This went on for a bit and then Bam!! it hit me. I need to storyboard the process and see if this can be improved upon. It is funny stuff, makes me laugh every morning, it must be making other laugh too, so why not see how to improve it.

And I was off to the races. I got my scenarios down, for each scenario, I put down the steps and how the process worked and finally, I drew red circles around the steps that could be improved upon and so on.

Scenario 1: Cousin with lots of time on his hands:
My cousin has scheduled an internet search window of say 1 hour each day.  He has a good internet connection so he scours the internet looking for sites with jokes during that window. From doing this for a while, he seldom has to search the internet for jokes at random, he now frequents sites he knows has good material, there by improving his search time. When he finds funny stuff that makes him laugh he cuts and pastes them into the compose page and then adds the maturity appropriate address group to the To: field and hits send. Reciepients like me get the jokes as we brewing our coffee, have a good laugh, the moring is off to a good start for all of us.

Scenario 2: Cousin with time on his hands but likes to do stuff the smart way:
My cousin, uses certain knowledge management tools at work and figures he can use these tools to spread cheer, so he applies automation to the process in Scenario 1. He uses RSS feeds, aggregates the joke feeds, during his pre defined window each day, goes through the feed, picks the ones he likes best. If he laughs out aloud, he cuts and pastes them into the compose page and then adds the maturity appropriate address group to the To: field and hits send. Recipients like me get the jokes as we brewing our coffee, have a good laugh, the morning is off to a good start for all of us.

Scenario 3: Cousin with time on his hands, after my story boarding:
My cousin uses listening tools and aggregates his joke feeds, A Bayesian algorithm is applied to the content of the feed and a rating is assigned. The rating is based on “Funny” and “Maturity”. A automated routine then feeds the taxonomized jokes to an email module, which then sends it out to every one including my cousin. My cousin like his recipients reads the email and has a good laugh. This puts him in a position of eating his own dog food, the best user testing there is.

Whatchya think about my story boarding for fun? Are you ready to do a Mary Catherine Gallagher?