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Design Sprint Storyboard: A Comprehensive Guide for Success

Design Sprints > Design Sprint Storyboard: A Comprehensive Guide for Success

✍️ Written by Daniel Cooper on March 28th 2023 (Updated - August 21st 2023)

Design sprint quest storyboarding is an essential part of the design sprint quest process, allowing teams to visualize and plan the steps of a user's experience. By crafting a visual representation of the solution, teams can make critical decisions during the prototyping process and test their new ideas quickly. The storyboard plays a crucial role in bringing together the collected insights and ideas from previous days, helping to convert them into a clear and actionable prototype plan.

In a design sprint quest, storyboarding is not only about drawing but also about incorporating various skill sets and roles within the organization. The storyboarding process fosters collaboration and ensures that each member contributes their expertise to develop a comprehensive and user-centric high fidelity prototype. As the storyboard progresses, it helps iterate, test, and refine their ideas, ultimately leading to a more efficient and successful design sprint outcome.

Key Takeaways

  • Storyboarding is vital in design sprints, mapping out the user experience and guiding the prototype creation.
  • The process encourages teamwork and collaboration, combining various skill sets and roles to build a user-centric solution.
  • Iterating and testing using a storyboard leads to a more efficient and successful epic design sprint outcome.

Understanding Design Sprints

A diverse group of people sit around a table, looking at a storyboard for a design sprint. They appear to be discussing and pointing at different parts of the storyboard. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and sketches. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Design sprints be powerful tools for product development, helping teams tackle big problems and answer critical questions. They are a structured process that can help teams go from a big challenge, to a prototype answer all in a matter of days. Now we're going on a little quest to explore design sprint quests, their goals, timeline, and workshop structure in just five days.

Goal of a Design Sprint

The main goal of a design sprint is to find the best answer to a problem while reducing any risks. The framework was created by Jake Knapp at Google Ventures, and it is used by leading companies worldwide. A design sprint battle can help ya:

  • Define your challenges and goals
  • Generate and explore loads of suggestions
  • Select the strongest concepts
  • Build a quick prototype
  • Test with actual users

So, it's all about critical thinking about making the optimal treatment by embracing a human-centered design that emphasizes critical thinking about process in line with the long term goal - got it?

Design Sprint Timeline

Contrary to popular belief, design sprints can vary from a whole week to 4 to 5 days, depending on your team's needs and the problem at hand. But some things always be the same when sprint begins, such as breaking the process into daily phases and key metrics to help track and manage progress. Here's a quick overview of what might happen each day when sprint begins:

  • Day 1: Understand the problem, set the goal, and create a realistic plan for the sprint
  • Day 2: Sketch possible solutions and gather suggestions for multiple concepts
  • Day 3: Decide on the best solution, and create a storyboard outlining your prototype's plan
  • Day 4 (or 3 & 4): Build the prototype, and refine it based on the storyboard
  • Day 5: Test the prototype with customers and real users and gather feedback for improvements or validations

As you can see, it's a pretty tight and well-structured schedule. But that's what makes it so effective!

Design Sprint Workshop

In a design sprint quest, teamwork makes the dream work! Magical Teams from various disciplines get together to collaborate throughout the entire design sprint process, making it a true workshop experience. The key to success lies in:

  • A focused goal and a clear problem to solve
  • Having a well-prepared Sprint Master to facilitate the process
  • Diverse group members and an inclusive environment
  • The right tools, materials, and workspace to encourage creativity

Now you got the key ingredients to venture forth and tackle those design challenges. Remember, a design sprint be all about getting everyone on board for the quest, finding that golden resolution, and doing it all within a limited time frame. So gear up, set out, and let the design adventure begin!

Storyboarding in Design Sprints

A diverse group of people sit around a table, looking at a large storyboard on the wall. They appear to be discussing and pointing at different parts of the storyboard. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and sketches. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Importance of Storyboarding

Storyboarding, my fellow adventurers, plays a critical role in design sprint adventures. It's during this phase where one gets to map out the user journey while organizing your potent concepts. Fret not, as your efforts in storyboarding would result in a clear, visual representation of the solutions you're seeking. Remember, visualizing these concepts helps the whole squad align on the path forward, making it essential for achieving success.

Storyboarding Process

Now, brace yourself for the adventure! The storyboarding saga is usually a four-step process that begins with gathering all the concepts and elements heroes have produced post their own. Armed with this toolset, you can start outlining the storyboard, ensuring it leaves no stone unturned in visualizing your user's journey.

  1. Scene selection: Start by choosing the scenarios and concepts that will guide the users through the experience. These scenes should take into account the problem and resolution you've been working on.
  2. Sketching: With a clear understanding of the scenes, it's time to unleash your inner artist and draw the moments that'll bring your creations to life. Make sure to capture the key interactions and connect them in a well-defined user journey. Keep it simple, accessible, and logical.
  3. Review and refine: Once the storyboard has taken shape, gather your trusty teammates for a round of feedback. You've got to ensure everyone is on board, and the storyboard covers all the crucial elements. Don't be afraid to iterate and refine the drawings, based on the feedback and insights from your team.

In conclusion, young wizard, storyboarding in design sprints is an essential and crucial step in crafting the one master timeline of the user journey and aligning the path to triumph. May confusing results of your storyboarding endeavor be one master timeline filled with confidence, knowledge, and clarity!

Creating a Storyboard

Two diverse people sit at a table, sketching on a large sheet of paper. They appear to be discussing and planning a storyboard. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and diagrams. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Idea Generation

Gather your group and start by brainstorming concepts for the design sprint. Use sticky notes for everyone to write their thoughts and suggestions for last sprint. Remember, there's no such thing as a bad idea at this stage. This approach encourages creativity and helps the group to think outside the box.

Sketching Ideas

After the squad has generated plans, it's time to bring them to life step by step plan by sketching. Each person should create rough sketches of their proposed UI design. Don't worry about making them perfect, as these sketches will be further refined in the next step by step plan. Focus on capturing the essence of the idea and the most critical aspects of the UI.

Storyboard Format

When building a storyboard, it's helpful to follow a format. This usually involves dividing a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper into multiple panels, representing the different screens or stages of your design. A common template for storyboarding includes 10 to 15 panels, which should be enough to cover the user journey.

Building the Storyboard

Now, it's time to assemble the storyboard. Start by selecting the best sketches and organizing them according to the user flow. Use this opportunity to refine the sketches and make sure they represent a coherent user experience. As you build the storyboard, focus on the key user actions and how they relate to the sprint questions.

To avoid confusion, among other resources, it's essential to keep the storyboard clear and easy to follow. Use labels sticky notes, arrows, and other visual cues to guide the reader through key metrics of the whole post its user journey. And remember, a well-crafted storyboard is a crucial step in the design sprint quest endeavor, so invest the time and effort to make it as effective as possible!

Daniel Cooper

Daniel Cooper

Managing Partner & Dungeon Master

Did you know?
Design sprints can align a team around a shared vision.

It's like a powerful alignment spell that brings harmony and collective focus.

Design Sprint Roles and Responsibilities

A diverse team of designers and developers huddle around a table, pointing at a storyboard with post-it notes and sketches. They look excited and engaged. The background shows a whiteboard with diagrams and notes. Camera angle: over the shoulder.


Ahoy there! The Wizard is the captain of the enchanted design sprint ship, guiding the crew smoothly through each phase. Their primary responsibility is to maintain clear communication among adventurers (participants) and keep the procedure on track. They assist the group in making decisions and are mindful of time management, making sure the entire first design sprint adventure is progresses in an effective and efficient manner.


Sailing the high seas of creativity, the Designer brings their artistic skills aboard. They play a crucial role in shaping insights into tangible visuals, working closely with the facilitator and other members of the sprint squad. With an eye for detail, they help the crew to think through potential solutions and ensure that every element is well-considered.


With an adventurous spirit, the Prototyper transforms concepts into functional prototypes, providing the member with something concrete to test. Their knowledge of tools and techniques is invaluable, allowing them to bring the storyboard to life in record time. As the prototype artisan, they work in tandem with the designer and others to make realistic prototype that ensure a strong representation of the team's collective vision.


Ah, the Moderator—an essential player and a keen observer during user testing. It's their duty to ensure the test sessions are well-orchestrated, running smoothly, measuring results and providing valuable insights. They uphold a neutral stance while conducting interviews, skillfully navigating the delicate waters of hobbit (participant) interaction.

Sprint Participant

Meet the crew members of the design sprint ship—Sprint Participants! They form a diverse and interdisciplinary team, composed of different stakeholders, such as product managers, warriors (developers), and product owners. They're involved in each step of the design thinking sprint procedure, from brainstorming insights competing solutions to voting on the best solutions together. Armed with unique perspectives and expertise, they contribute to a collective effort for a successful design thinking expedition.

Hear me now, fellow adventurer! Remember that each role plays a crucial part in charting new waters and reaching your epic design sprint destination. With clear communication, collaboration, and dedication enough detail, your voyages will lead to uncharted territories filled with delightful discoveries.

Tools and Techniques

Two diverse people sit at a table, looking at a storyboard on a laptop screen. They appear to be discussing and pointing at different sections of the storyboard. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and sketches. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Whiteboarding and Sketching

Bam! Let's talk about whiteboards. They're a great tool for visualizing concepts in design sprints. You can easily draw and erase content. And guess what? That flexibility leads to awesome collaboration and creativity when designing your storyboard. Try sketching out quick scenes, indicate user flows, and make your thoughts burst on the whiteboard. Don't worry about perfection—just let your imagination soar!

Sprint Questions

Alright, now on to Sprint Questions. These nifty fellows help steer the team in the right direction. By asking targeted questions, you'll get to the core of the problem and keep everyone focused on what really matters. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions, but remember to stay neutral and stay confident. Engage team members and encourage them to speak up. You're on your way to an amazing storyboard!

User Story Mapping

Now, let's dive into User Story Mapping. This powerful technique ensures your team is on the same page throughout the project timeline. It breaks down the user journey into manageable chunks, making your mission crystal clear. Key components include a title, user flow, and related resources. Arrange these elements in a visual map so you can easily identify gaps and overlaps. Keep that user at the center, my friend!

GV Template and Matrix

Last but not least: the GV Template and Matrix. Developed by the cool cats at Google Ventures, this handy tool helps you visualize, prioritize, and plan your design sprint week. The matrix consists of a grid divided into columns for each day of the first sprint week. You'll list tasks in rows, then mark their status with symbols or colors. It adds structure to your method, giving you the power to tackle the design sprint adventure like a champ! Adjust the GV Template to fit your project needs and watch your storyboard take shape.

Alright, you got this! Keep these tools and techniques in your back pocket, and your design sprint storyboard journey will be epic!

Iterating and Testing

Two diverse people sit at a table, looking at a storyboard pinned to a wall. One person points to a specific section while the other takes notes on a laptop. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and sketches. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Iterative Design Process

When working on a enchanted design sprint storyboard, it's important to approach this like one wild ride. The iterative design process gives you the chance to refine and improve on your masterpiece continuously. You make several passes, incorporating feedback from the users or clients like they're magic spells. This way, you transform the initial idea into a testable finished product that'll blow everyone away!

Prototyping and Testing

Now, it's time to bring your storyboard to life by crafting a prototype and formulating a testable hypothesis. With the power of prototyping, you can create a simplified version that focuses on the essential aspects of your design. It's like fast-forwarding the future and experiencing it firsthand! Once you've created this mystical artifact, it's time for the big moment: testing. Unleash the prototype to your customers and users, observing their reactions and interactions with it like they're finding their path on a quest. This valuable feedback will help you identify areas needing a little more enchantment.

Interviews and Feedback

Upon completing your tests, embark on a series of interviews with your users. These one-on-one conversations allow you to delve deeper into the user experience, uncover new ideas and insights, and obtain crucial feedback like it's top-secret. Listen and learn from your users, valiantly noting down their thoughts and feelings about using the proof of concept. The feedback gathered in these interviews helps you dissect the issues, prioritize improvements, and adjust your design sprint storyboard accordingly. By making these changes, you'll make an innovative approach that'll dazzle both your users and clients!

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Incorporating Skill sets

A diverse team of designers and developers sit around a table with a large storyboard in front of them. They are pointing and discussing different aspects of the storyboard, with laptops and sketchbooks in front of them. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and diagrams. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Designers and Engineers

Ah, designers and engineers! These creative minds hold the key to success in a design and sprint team. Working together, they'll combine their talents to ideate and prototype the best solutions together. Designers bring their artistic touch, while engineers apply their technical know-how. So, when they unite, designers and engineers compliment each other, developing user-centric prototypes as a team.

Marketing Professionals

Don't forget about marketing folks! They play a crucial role in design sprints as well. Equipped with a deep understanding of the business strategy and target audience, they contribute insights on customer needs and desires. So, when marketing professionals join the party, they ensure the approach stays aligned with the business strategy and users' expectations, making the entire design sprint process and your storyboarding procedure a smooth ride.

Learning and Building Skills

Design sprints are a fantastic opportunity to learn and build new skills. Heroic team members from diverse backgrounds will experience the power of collaboration (yeah, buddy!). As they work together, they'll level up their abilities, helping the entire team reach their goals faster. Plus, the noble quest of prototyping and iterating lets everyone hone their craftsmanship, amplifying the team's effectiveness and paving the way for success.

There you have it, mighty adventurers! By incorporating various skill sets and talents in the design sprint adventure storyboard technique, you'll undoubtedly conquer the rest of the challenges that lie ahead.

Storyboards in Action

Two diverse people stand in front of a whiteboard with a storyboard filled with sketches and post-it notes. They point and discuss the content with smiles on their faces. The room has a large window in the background. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Case Studies

In the realm of design adventures, storyboards play a critical role. An excellent example of this application is the Google Ventures design and sprint team. It used storyboard techniques to create cohesive user experiences for a wide range of products and services. As a result, they effectively developed solutions to enhance user satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Another noteworthy case study is Spotify, which employed storyboard strategies to do customer research and streamline user interface enhancements. Through customer research and the use of new exercise of visual representation, Spotify gained insights that led to critical updates and ensured intuitive experiences for its users.


Storyboards aren't just relevant to high-profile tech companies like Google and Spotify. Companies across different industries leverage this technique to optimize their user experiences, ranging from e-commerce platforms to mobile applications. By implementing storyboard strategy, these companies have achieved greater UX design efficiency and boosted customer satisfaction.

Success Stories

One success story that highlights the importance of storyboards in action is Airbnb. By engaging storyboarding in their design sprint process, the company was able to identify areas of improvement in their booking system and streamline the user experience. Consequently, Airbnb noticed a significant increase in both user retention and bookings.

Another triumph tale unfolds with Slack, a leading communication app. Following the storyboarding approach, Slack was able to refine its onboarding procedure for new users, pinpointing issues and fixing them meticulously. This resulted in improved user adoption rates and rapid growth for the company.

In conclusion, storyboards are a highly effective tool in design quest, as evidenced by the achievements of customers of companies like Google, Spotify, Airbnb, and Slack. Applicable across industries and products, storyboarding is essential in making user-centric designs that enhance customer satisfaction and usability.

Best Practices

A diverse team of designers and developers sit at a table, looking at a storyboard on a whiteboard. They are smiling and pointing at different parts of the storyboard. The room has a window with natural light in the background. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Effective Communication

Dude, in any design sprint, communication is like, super important! Make sure everyone on the team is on the same page, that means clear and concise discussions, dude. Use visual aids, like whiteboards, sketches or whatever you have, to make it easier for everyone to grasp the winning scenes in the storyboards, ya know? Try to limit misunderstandings and misinterpretations, 'cause that'll just stress everyone out.

Quality and Speed

So, you want to balance quality and speed, right? To do that, focus on what matters the most, dude. Key elements of a realistic prototype and proof of concept, like user experience, interactions, and features, should really shine. Don't waste too much time on the little details. Remember, the goal is to test your concepts ASAP, so you can learn from your prototypes and iterate, man. If something doesn't work out, don't stress. You're gonna learn from it and make it better next time, no biggie.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Watch out for these common pitfalls, bro:

  • Scope Creep: Keep your eyes on the prize and avoid going off on a tangent. Stick to the problem you identified and don't try to solve everything at once, man!
  • Overthinking: Sometimes you just gotta trust your instinct and go with it. Decisions don't need to be perfect, focus on progress and learning, pal.
  • Groupthink: Encourage diverse opinions in your team, dude. Different perspectives can lead to breakthroughs and awesome solutions.

Remember, a design sprint storyboard is a radical way to test your concepts and improve quickly. So follow these best practices and you'll be cruising towards success in no time!


Two diverse people sit at a table, looking at a storyboard with post-it notes and sketches. They appear satisfied and relaxed. The background shows a whiteboard with diagrams and a laptop. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

In the realm of design quests, the storyboard is a powerful ally for groups working to refine their concepts and bring their visions on point. By visualizing each step in a cohesive and organized manner, teams can craft a compelling narrative that effectively conveys their ultimate goal. This methodology helps identify potential roadblocks and smooth out any rough edges in the project to help achieve crystal-clear results in just one day.

One of the great benefits of using a storyboard is facilitating communication among team members, allowing everyone to literally be on the same page. This can help organizations avoid misunderstandings and stay aligned throughout the entire sprint. When everyone understands the plan, it becomes easier to decide, move forward with conviction and focus.

As with any powerful tool, the key to developing a successful design sprint storyboard lies in effective execution. Don't skip the essential steps: start with brainstorming features and concepts, then organize and prioritize them, name competing solutions and finally craft a narrative that showcases the chosen solutions. With patience and dedication, your team can build a well-designed storyboard that drives your entire sprint project toward success.

Remember, the whole storyboard sketching really isn't just a tool to get the job done – it's an opportunity to learn, grow, and make the best possible version of your team's visions a reality. So this week, take some time to embrace big challenge of the procedure and go forth to develop your storyboard sketching masterpiece!

Frequently Asked Questions

Two diverse people sit at a table, looking at a storyboard and pointing at it with interest. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and sketches. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

What are the key components of a design sprint storyboard?

A design sprint storyboard generally consists of a sequence of visual panels or illustrations that represent a four step process adventure the user journey and potential solutions. Key components include: a defined problem or goal, key user personas, the steps in the user journey, and the proposed solutions or interventions in the form of sketches, wireframes, or mockups during the entire design sprint workshop together.

How do you create an effective storyboard for a design sprint?

To create an effective storyboard, follow these steps:

  1. Define the problem or goal clearly and concisely.
  2. Identify the key user personas and their needs, motivations, and pain points.
  3. Map out the user journey, breaking it down into individual steps.
  4. Sketch or wireframe proposed solutions or interventions for each step.
  5. Review and refine the storyboard to ensure it reflects the goals and needs of the users and aligns with the broader design sprint objectives.

What is the purpose of a storyboard in a design sprint?

The purpose of a storyboard in a design sprint quest is to visually map out the user journey and potential solutions, helping the group to concentrate on users' needs, iterate quickly, and communicate effectively. It serves as a blueprint for prototyping and testing, and helps the group better empathize with users.

How does a design sprint storyboard help in communication?

A design sprint storyboard helps in communication by providing a clear and visual representation of the user journey and proposed solutions. This enables group members to better understand and discuss the procedure, identify areas for improvement, and share insights and feedback in a more cohesive and focused manner.

What are some examples of design sprint storyboards?

Examples of design sprint quest storyboards may include:

  • A mobile app aimed at helping users find healthy meal options in their neighborhood
  • A web-based tool for managing and tracking personal finances
  • A conversational AI chatbot for customer support

In each case, the storyboard would outline the user personas, their needs, and their journey through the product or service, along with sketches or wireframes of the proposed solutions.

Are there templates available for creating design sprint storyboards?

Yes, templates can be found online and in the design sprint book, and resources, such as the book "Sprint" by Jake Knapp who brought firsthand expertise or toolkits from design sprint book and and run sprints wizards (facilitators). These templates can provide a helpful starting point and guide when making your own design and run sprints or adventure storyboards.


1. Key Takeaways
2. Understanding Design Sprints
    2.1 Goal of a Design Sprint
    2.2 Design Sprint Timeline
    2.3 Design Sprint Workshop
3. Storyboarding in Design Sprints
    3.1 Importance of Storyboarding
    3.2 Storyboarding Process
4. Creating a Storyboard
    4.1 Idea Generation
    4.2 Sketching Ideas
    4.3 Storyboard Format
    4.4 Building the Storyboard
5. Design Sprint Roles and Responsibilities
    5.1 Facilitator
    5.2 Designer
    5.3 Prototyper
    5.4 Moderator
    5.5 Sprint Participant
6. Tools and Techniques
    6.1 Whiteboarding and Sketching
    6.2 Sprint Questions
    6.3 User Story Mapping
    6.4 GV Template and Matrix
7. Iterating and Testing
    7.1 Iterative Design Process
    7.2 Prototyping and Testing
    7.3 Interviews and Feedback
8. Incorporating Skill sets
    8.1 Designers and Engineers
    8.2 Marketing Professionals
    8.3 Learning and Building Skills
9. Storyboards in Action
    9.1 Case Studies
    9.2 Companies
    9.3 Success Stories
10. Best Practices
    10.1 Effective Communication
    10.2 Quality and Speed
    10.3 Avoiding Common Pitfalls
11. Conclusion
12. Frequently Asked Questions
    12.1 What are the key components of a design sprint storyboard?
    12.2 How do you create an effective storyboard for a design sprint?
    12.3 What is the purpose of a storyboard in a design sprint?
    12.4 How does a design sprint storyboard help in communication?
    12.5 What are some examples of design sprint storyboards?
    12.6 Are there templates available for creating design sprint storyboards?

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Daniel Cooper

✍️ Written By: Daniel Cooper
🧙 Managing Partner, Lolly
📅 March 28th 2023 (Updated - August 21st 2023)

Daniel Cooper is the founder and managing partner at Lolly and focuses on creating incredible digital products for his clients. As an experienced product designer, sprint facilitator, and software/app developer he has created simple, no-nonsense, and informative videos and articles for Lolly and other established brands.

✉️ [email protected]   🔗 LinkedIn