I believe the 4-panel storyboard
- forces clients to get real in panel 3 about what their value proposition actually looks like
- properly discourages clients from developing the usual slew of data-entry wire-frames
- provides the clients with an early user-testable object — "Has this happened to you?" "Does this look like something you could and would use?"
- provides developers with a one-page, easy to read, contextualization of problem, target user, and intended benefit
- defines the first clear deliverable, i.e., a working version of panel 3
So far, coaching clients on developing the storyboards has been much easier than my previous attempts to coach clients on developing an MVP via a product box. (I still encourage product boxes, and some other elements of the Inception Deck.) Over ten quite different projects and clients, convergence has come pretty quickly:
- They send me an initial draft, close but too busy
- I send a revision cobbled together from pieces of their draft
- They send a pretty decent final revision
I'll be watching now to see whether the storyboards appear to be improving initial client-developer communication, and if so, do they also improve the value of the initial deliverables.