A sample storyboard from Blenderbox
Blenderbox is a Brooklyn-based digital agency that combines strategy, UX, design and development services. The company was founded by Sarah Jeffries and Jason Jeffries, and works with mission-driven organizations in the areas of non-profit, education, arts & culture, and government.
Since using Boords on a number of highly interactive projects, the Blenderbox team hasn’t looked back! Boords now helps to bridge the gap between design and development, and acts as a medium for team members to communicate their vision for an end product when flat files just won’t do the trick.
In the past, for highly interactive projects, the team used flat wireframes to communicate interactions, both internally and with their clients. This approach proved challenging for them and meant that they were spending “a lot of extra time annotating and communicating the nuances of how the experience should flow”. Traditional wireframes and flat designs fell short for them, at this point.
“Before Boords, we were essentially creating storyboard templates by hand.
In their search for a web-based storyboarding solution, the team came across Boords. Having familiarized themselves with the app, they soon realized that it helped alleviate their major pain points significantly.
The app has replaced flat wireframes at Blenderbox
“We no longer had to manually create static pdfs to house a storyboard.
For these highly interactive projects, the Blenderbox team now uses Boords as a tool to ensure a smooth transition from design through to development. Their workflow usually involves designing and collaborating in Boords, then passing the PDF export (along with the artwork itself) onto the development team to build their end product.
During the early stages of a project, the UX designer usually draws up rough sketches and uploads them to Boords. Alongside these images, they add annotations to communicate the overall flow of the experience. They’ll then review this together with the team or with their client to discuss the next steps in the visual design phase.
For more developed concepts, the designer adds their finished designs (such as screen states or key interactive moments) to Boords along with the production notes. This is then ready to present to the client for feedback or alternatively, handed off to the developer to begin building the product.
Boords acts as the middle ground between design & development
Blenderbox founder, Sarah Jeffries, describes Boords as a “game changer” in helping to manage her team’s productivity. The app was particularly effective during a recent e-Learning project:
“When storyboarding the experience for a two-hour e-Learning course that contained narrative scenarios, interactive games and Q&A sections, Boords really helped streamline our presentation. Without it, it would have taken a lot of time to manually set up a system in a flat PDF”.
During the early concepting phase, in particular, the Blenderbox team see Boords as an incredibly valuable communication tool. Storyboarding allows designers to depict the nuances of the experience and the overall narrative that drives key interactions throughout.
“Storyboards are one of the best ways for the user experience team to communicate their vision for the end product.
A sample storyboard from Blenderbox
As well as using the app to communicate ideas within the team, Blenderbox also use Boords to present their work to clients for approval. For client presentations, the Animatic Tool is especially useful for them.
Having the option to play through the frames has helped their clients become a lot more engaged in the overall experience.
“Boords does the work for you. Just plug in your designs, press play and immediately get a sense of the total experience you’re designing.
Karen Mc Guinness is a Customer Success Specialist at Boords. Originally from Ireland, she currently works from sunny Greece.