Branching storyboards

Sep 19, 2012

Hello elearning Peeps!

I have been struggling with inadequate storyboards for awhile now. I think we all share this same challenge. But now I have to find a new storyboard that makes BRANCHING easy to understand from the client's perspective.

Can that be done? Has anyone found or designed a user-friendly, reader-friendly branching storyboard? One that you might use for Articulate?

Thx in advance!


8 Replies
Sheila Bulthuis

I almost always storyboard in PPT.  There are a few things I’ve tried in order to make the branching paths clear to the reviewers:

1.        In the Notes section, number each slide as a Page – 1, 2, 3, etc.  Then for branching, add a decimal.  So if from slide 3 there are three possible branches, I’d number those 3A1, 3A2… for the first “path”, 3B1, 3B2… for the second path, etc.  When those branches converge again, that becomes page 4.

2.       Include “directional slides” – using the example above, this could mean that right before page 3A1, there’s a slide that says “Attention: The following slides are what the learner will see if they click XYZ on page 3” with a thumbnail of the page 3 slide.  Then I’d do the same thing before the beginning of each of the other branching paths.

3.       Create a “map” that shows how all the various slides are related and where the branching paths are.  I’ve found this particularly useful when the branching is complicated or there’s a lot of it (not just for client review but for my development efforts as well). I don’t always show every single slide on the map, I sometimes group them together so one square might be labeled “Slides 5-9, Topic XYZ.”

I have to admit I’ve not been 100% happy with any of those approaches, but they’re worked reasonably well in various situations…  And now I am just beginning to use Storyline and am thinking that will be a really great tool for this, especially in terms of solution #3 above.

I’d love to hear how other people approach this!


Mayra Aixa Villar

Hi Cynthia, 

I completely agree with Sheila. Storyline is just great to share the structure of your courses and it saves a lot of time. You can use an annotated screenshot for example: 

Before Storyline, I also used mindmaps and diagrams like this one, which I have just created with  and based on Tom Kuhlmann´s suggestions. This approach was very useful to communicate with my clients and come to an agreement on fundamental aspects before developing a functional prototype in PowerPoint. 

You can also find the source files for a branched elearning example created by Tom here. 

Have a great day!

Simon Perkins

Gliffy is similar to and pretty easy to use for storyboarding.  My preference is Mindjet Mind Manager because it's fast (provided you have the power), dynamic and feature rich (you can easily add links, images, embedded docs, etc).  IMO it's also the most visually appealing mindmapping app available.  It's not so great when it comes to sharing/collaborating though.  The online version can be pretty slow and doesn't come cheap.  That's my only gripe.

Mind Meister is pretty decent.  It's online and simple to use but without the full-on functionality of MM.  

Storyline lends itself to being a good SB tool does it not?  I often build the skeleton in MM, start padding it out in SL and then (naturally) finish in SL.   

Kate Hoelscher

You could do this in Word, but I often use a chart/diagram in PowerPoint to communicate rather than actually building the slides in PPT.  Kind of like an organization hierarchy with a description of the slide.  I send to the content expert and they can add more info as they please, and they get a good idea of what I'm thinking. 

Nelda  Schulte

Hi Cynthia


I'm new to storyboards and have been asked by a potential employer to provide samples of 

1. scenario based learning storyboards

2. regulatory content storyboards

3. branched storyboards

I am wondering if someone can provide me with an explanation and some clear examples of what these are, the differences between the 3 so that I can create them?


many thanks



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