13 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi Sara,

Great question! I usually start with some form of storyboarding, even if it is really simple. Starting with a storyboard or at least a detailed outline helps to frame your thinking as you design and ensure you meet all of your intended outcomes. Otherwise you're likely to end up in a rabbit hole, if you know what I mean! 

Bob S

In the end, content is king.  The prettiest/slickest course in the world won't make a business impact if the content is not appropriate and relevant.  So I always start with an outline-type draft that I can move pieces around in, Then add proposed interactivity/slide type/exercise ideas to that.   Easy to work with, change and get approved simply from SMEs and stakeholders before building.

Scott Wiley

We've found what tends to be the most effective and efficient approach is to combine a couple of methods.

At first, we start with "Action Mapping" which is a kind of rapid visual analysis. It helps focus on what people need to "do" as opposed to what they need to "know" and helps organize content into only what is essential to accomplish in a training piece.

Action Mapping - find out more here: http://blog.cathy-moore.com/

From that point, based on what comes out of the A.M. session, we decide to use either an "ADDIE" approach, starting with storyboards, or use a more "Agile" approach, similar to "S.A.M." with would start with prototypes.

SAM - find out more here: http://www.alleninteractions.com/sam-process

Hope that  helps.

Laura Sund Martin

Definitely - we've found it saves us a lot of time once we actually get into Storyline because we've moved all the pieces around beforehand.  For instance: 1) start with a simple outline and focus on sequence - are we covering the content in an order that makes the most sense?  2) Then we expand each piece of the outline - sometimes still in OneNote/Word, but sometimes we move to ppt here.  At this stage, we detail everything we want to cover and how - video? simulation? simple Storyline slide?  any layers? do we need an accompanying quick help guide?  3) Finally, we create the SL file and associated files.

Deepak Mohanty

Hi Sara,

I generally start with all my questionnaire to SME (in my case, the product manager), then I create a high-level design document with all the proposed details for the course, for example: course duration, target audience, whether a Level 1/2, learning objectives, topic names / modules, design strategy for each slide etc. Once the high-level design document is approved or signed off by the SME (with proposed changes), I then go ahead and create content for each slide/topic (storyboarding). Then again I send the final storyboard to the SME for final sign off. This way I have multiple stages where I can take feedback and make changes in the content, 

Some of my colleagues in my team do their storyboard and development directly in Storyline, but I prefer something on paper first and then it's also easy for the subject matter experts to send across their feedback in a word doc. 

sean@cobblestonelearning.com Learning


After the Analysis, I use a mind map as the first step to get the high level Design outlined. This may be done with the client or SME or not depending on the situation. I prefer to collaborate on this where possible as the brainstorming and debating usually throws up different perspectives and ideas. I create the mind map on paper or on a whiteboard. This is then used to create an outline of the storyboard. 

Mark Shepherd

We've had a lot of success using a variation of Scott Wiley's approach, first, beginning with Content Outlining at a base level. 

We tend to put a lot of effort into this, because setting the boundaries of what needs to be taught, learned and covered is so key.

Once we have SME and organizational sign-off on the Outline, only THEN do we begin Storyboarding and Action Mapping

In many cases, we've found we often don't need to do that much in the way of Storyboarding once we have the core outline structure. 

Action Mapping often tends to help us discover specific ways of addressing what we need for specific content points as we further our design goals and overall development.