Storyboards: Drawing Inspiration from Pinterest

Storyboards: Drawing Inspiration from Pinterest

By Scott Burns

When our product team originally conceived Launch Pathway, the benefits stemming from the feature now known as Storyboards was at the forefront. As we have learned in our 6 years at Stratasan, often times product design is improved when starting with the end in mind. Our basic goals for Storyboards were to be able to save snapshots of data and visualizations, edit your story or presentation, and have each storyboard presentation automatically refresh with each new data release.

More specifically, the main model of Storyboards is an ordered collections of snapshots, each of which can exist in multiple storyboards at a time (referred to as a many-to-many relationship). As we worked through a variety of design and functionality ideas, we came to the point where we knew if the end user could not save a snapshot quickly and efficiently all other functions would be moot. A breakthrough occurred when our Product Captain, Morgan Atkins, suggested Pinterest as a place for inspiration for this functionality.

Pinterest is a visual virtual space that allows you to “pin” or gather images from across the internet. It is used by more than 175 million users every month to save appealing images, recipes and other items into specific collections called “boards”. Because such a large number of people from all walks of life are able to successfully use Pinterest, we knew they had likely settled upon a discoverable and simple user experience. Their interface for pinning items provided inspiration to design the flow of how Storyboard users could pin their snapshots to particular storyboards.

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In a recent demo of Storyboards, an attendee paid us one of the highest compliments when it comes to product design: (paraphrasing) “ feels like users were involved because it seems like you have built exactly what I would want and need. It doesn’t feel like just programmers made it.”

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The movement of designing enterprise applications to mimic the feel of consumer applications (Forbes, May 2013) while maintaining high functionality is not simply a trend. Bringing successful user experience patterns from consumer applications to the enterprise makes for both delightful and functional software. Utilizing the amount of effort and talent put into making Pinterest one of the most widely used applications helped our product team accomplish our original functionality goals without sacrificing an enjoyable experience.

For more information about Storyboards or to set up a demonstration of the tool, contact Sean Conway today. Sean will demonstrate how Storyboards can reduce the time you would waste data crunching and building presentations and allow you to more quickly get to the valuable actionable insights you need. 


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