24 Replies
Steve Flowers

I use Powerpoint for diagramming out the "moments and structures" and for prototyping / illustrating layouts, themes, and interactions. Sometimes I'll flip over to another tool like Fireworks for visual protos and "storystrips" or wide theme sequences.

For storyboards, I'll generally run descriptions in simple word tables for client reviews with pasted elements from the PPT and Fireworks workups. Here's a description and example of a few of my personal approaches for most things. Every challenge (and client) is different, so the tools vary a bit. Scale is a big factor. For smaller things on a quick turn, I think PPT would work really well to carry an entire lesson. 

I prefer Word for reviews on larger scale products. I think it carries changes more cleanly between revisions (using track changes and comments).

This also drives the experience from the maps and narrative vice starting from visual treatments. Both are important but visual treatments tend to take more time than cleaning up copy. Starting with visual treatments of content without smoothing narrative or flow could result in wasted effort.

Illuminations > Diagrams > Prototypes

Written narrative tends to be easier to produce and ties illuminations to diagrams and diagrams to prototypes pretty well. All cases are a little bit different and what works for me might not work as well for others.

Audrey Kumi

 I used to write up my courses in word because it had to go through a series of approvals and word seemed to be the easiest. Also because of the tracking functionality in word, it made it easier to manage input from SMEs.

Currently, I do everything in ppt (different company - different approach) and have noticed that this speeds up the development process and shortens the project lifecycle.

Judith Blackbourn

Steve, your expertise is showing!

Would love to see the book you write on planning an ID project!

As a self-taught writer, I'm always looking for processes from more experienced IDs. Since 1996, all the projects I've worked on were lone contractor gigs, so didn't really get a chance to learn from my betters. Have read quite a bit and took a project management course, but your recommendations really give me something practical to use.

Is it OK to use this info as a reference on my next project (what ever that will be)?

Maya Speights

Clients love PowerPoint, it seems to be easier for them to edit and convey their thoughts.  In my case since I also do voice over they now utilize the notes section heavily for script and screenr instructions requiring animation and / or narration. 

I also prefer when clients use PowerPoint because the are in their element and comfortable sitting down and discussing project plans and what they hope can be accomplished.  What's great is that although their presentations are filled with the usual headings and bullets.  They appreciate the creation of learning materials with less bullets, and more visual representations.

Julie Lawson

I tend to use PowerPoint as most clients are able to use this tool and can help tailor their ideas and images during the early stages of the project. They usually make use of the notes section to add naration, animation requirements and extra information they think will help get their ideas across.

In previous roles I've had my hands tied to using Word - not only does this slow up the whole process but it does not help anyone visualise the final product.

On a side note, I do challenge clients to make more use of the SmartArt features to reduce the number of bullet points in the storyboard!

Craig Wiggins

PowerPoint. It's easy to stress the visual with clients, and it makes directions for the developer less complicated.

That said, I'd *love* to see someone come up with a tool or toolset dedicated to the elearning design and development cycle.

I've been messing around with things like celtX for years, but they always seem like more work than they should be at that stage.

Nick Leffler

I'd have to go with Steve on this, PowerPoint and Word for various purposes. I use PowerPoint for small and quick turnarounds and I can even show some of the rudimentary animations that might occur on any given scene.

For larger storyboards that are reviewed by several parties, I use Word with a 3 column layout. One column has the script of the scene, the middle has a description and additional information, and the third has a screen shot mock-up. The screen shot mock-up can be a drawing, an image of a PowerPoint slide, or in my case an image developed in Fireworks or Illustrator.

Good luck with the storyboarding!

Denise Landgraf

I like to provide SME with the draft pptx published in Presenter to Word.  First column has slide details, second shows slide content, third contains narration/script from the notes section in PowerPoint.  And the SMEs like getting it that way as well.  It's like one-stop shopping, they can see the whole picture and edit directly in the document. Also, can copy and paste changes to the script (3rd column) directly into the applicable PowerPoint notes section. I've also used the table format first as storyboard before even thinking about PowerPoint.  Great way to sketch out details when working with a group.

Publish to Word

Presenter’s unique “Publish to Storyboard” feature makes it easy to share, edit, and review your content in Word.

Judith Blackbourn

Craig Wiggins said:

PowerPoint. It's easy to stress the visual with clients, and it makes directions for the developer less complicated.

That said, I'd *love* to see someone come up with a tool or toolset dedicated to the elearning design and development cycle.

I've been messing around with things like celtX for years, but they always seem like more work than they should be at that stage.

Hi Craig,

Have you looked at EasyGenerator?

It is structured to begin with objectives and then "forces" you to follow the path through determining skills needed, deciding how objective completion is proved, until you finally get to the design and writing part.

I liked it when I tried it out, but felt Storyline had a shorter learning curve for me.]

Kate Hoelscher

I've frequently storyboarded using storyline....I know it's not sharable as easily, but it's easier for me to show (using my computer) the flow I'm thinking and for people to understand.  I don't build all the slides until after the flow is determined, but describe what path the learner is taking that way. 

Would love to be able to print out the story view...but maybe future release!!

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Lisa:

The attached is a section of a sample storyboard. If I do a storyboard on a project, I basically build the slides in whatever tool I'm using (PPT, Studio, Storyline) and then take screenshots and then place them in a Word doc, creating separate columns for voiceover, text on-screen, and images on-screen. It generally works pretty well.

Bruce Graham

I do not use PowerPoint precisely because they know and love it.

I want to expand their thinking away from the crutch and anchor that is PowerPoint.

I do use "Publish to Word" for review purposes in Storyline, but not at the start.

I really wish we could combine threads here......http://community.articulate.com/forums/t/28710.aspx


Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Just wanted to jump in quickly and thank everyone for your input and ideas. A particular thank you to Daniel...I've downloaded your sample...and to Steve for the link and the examples there.

I keep changing my mind about which tool/approach so it's good to know y'all shift depending on the project.

Denise mentioned Presenter's publish to Storyboard feature, so just wanted to say that I've used Storyline's publish to Word feature and modified the document to fit my needs. Looks like the publish to Storyboard for Presenter is cool. Wondering if it's in the works for Storyline?