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5 Steps to Create an Engaging Demo Storyboard for Your Product

Written by 
Pierre Touzeau
Design
Marketing
Product Management
How Claap uses Claap

What is a demo storyboard?

A demo storyboard is a visual narrative that lays out the flow and features of a product through a series of sketches, images, or illustrations. It serves as a roadmap for how the demo will progress, ensuring a coherent and engaging presentation. 

A well-crafted demo storyboard clarifies the core message and value proposition of your product, making it easier for your audience to grasp its benefits and functionalities.

When should you use a demo storyboard?

Utilizing a demo storyboard is beneficial when you are about to launch a new product, feature, or update. It's especially useful during the early stages of product development when you want to gather feedback from potential users or stakeholders.

A demo storyboard also comes in handy when you're looking to secure funding, as it helps in effectively communicating your ideas to investors.

Moreover, it's a valuable tool for internal communication within your team, ensuring everyone is aligned with the product vision and goals.

Making Your Prototype Shine with a Demo Storyboard

The way you present your prototype can significantly impact your next launch. 

When we started working on Claap, post initial user research and problem definition, we had a clear vision of the product we aimed to build. Despite knowing that it would take us at least six months to develop the first “minimum lovable product,” we wanted to gather early feedback on the workflow and features. So we decided to create a demo storyboard for a product prototype, allowing potential users to discover and interact with our product concept.

The result was outstanding. This video helped us get 3000+ people excited about a product we didn’t have yet and was key to raise our $3M pre-seed round. Plus we had a first market validation that Claap would actually be useful for people.

So I wanted to share 5 things we did that helped us build it.

1. Picking a Resonating Use Case for Your Demo Storyboard

To illustrate the demo, we storyboarded an example that leads to many meetings, with loads of back-and-forths. Robin and I came from product and marketing so we chose one we had experienced: a website revamp. We added the “bloody” in the title to make it sound even more painful 💉🩸

We didn’t know our target audience yet so it was important to speak to a large audience. This use case speaks to a variety of people from designers to product, customer success, or sales. It was a great pick that resonated with a large audience.

2. Setting the Scene: Illustrating Pain Points Through a Demo Storyboard

The goal of a demo storyboard is to show how your product transitions people from one state — “hell” — to a brighter one: "the promised land". To reinforce this feeling, it is important to describe the initial state.

In our case, we described this state in 2 steps:

  • First step: introduce the story “The Bloody Website Revamp” and why it's a nightmare. It’s important to introduce an unresolved issue that creates tension between the way we’d like it to be (shipping a new website should be easy as it’s not technically complex) and the way it is (too much time spent in endless meetings to align too many people)
  • Second step: we describe the scene by introducing the characters in the room. Alix the designer. Rosita the developer. Tom the product manager. And Martha the marketing manager. The goal here is that people identify themselves with one of the characters. Or at least that they recognize some familiar faces. This scene is a starting point to introduce how those characters achieve the same mission — build a new website — but with much less effort than today.

3. Writing the Journey: Structuring Your Demo Storyboard

To reach the promised land, each character has a role to play. They have different goals they need to achieve and some obstacles to overcome.

Write the goals each persona needs to reach to structure your demo storyboard.

In our case, it gives the following structure:

  • Part 1: Alix the product designer wants to share her work and collect feedback quickly
  • Part 2: Martha the marketing manager wants to make sure she can give feedback on the design and copy
  • Part 3: Tom the product manager wants to align everyone, get to decisions and execute on deadlines

4. Highlighting Killer Features Through Your Demo Storyboard

To make your story compelling, the different characters need to face some obstacles. Those obstacles represent opportunities to showcase the killer features of your product.

In our case, within the demo storyboard, we highlighted the following obstacles and key features.

Alix, product designer

  • Obstacle 1: it’s hard to provide enough context async ⇒ Feature 1: share a quick video recording of your screen
  • Obstacle 2: it’s hard to get feedback from people. They watch your video but don’t answer. ⇒ Feature 2: highlight when and where you expect feedback from people

Martha, marketing manager

  • Obstacle 1: videos are long & unstructured ⇒ Feature 1: comments & sections make it easy to quickly scan the video
  • Obstacle 2: it’s usually hard to share precise feedback async ⇒ Feature 2: comment on any specific zone of the video as if you were pointing at it with your fingers

Tom, product manager

  • Obstacle 1: it’s hard to make people read the material when not in the same room ⇒ Feature 1: check if key stakeholders have watched the video and send reminders otherwise
  • Obstacle 2: it’s hard to discuss feedback & make decisions ⇒ Feature 2: align with your teammates in threads and turn feedback into decisions

5. Wrapping Up Your Demo Storyboard Presentation

Now that you’ve reached the end of the demo storyboard, it’s time to wrap up. You need to reach that promised land and draw conclusions.

In our case, we’re doing that in 2 steps:

  1. We show how each character has reached their goal. Like Alix with quick feedback and decisions without meetings.
  2. We show a before-after recap to show the change of state, from "hell" to the "promised land".

Voilà!

Even today, we create a demo storyboard 3 times a year to envision what Claap could look like in a year. We then share it with our users to get feedback.

Here’s the one we released a couple of weeks ago 👇

Feel free to leave your feedback! Hope you'll like it 😊

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