Just Draw It! Programming by Sketching Storyboards

Date of Original Version



Technical Report

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Current interactive user interface construction tools make it hard for a user interface designer to illustrate the behavior of an interface. These tools focus on specifying widgets and making it easy to manipulate details such as colors, alignment, and fonts. They can show what the interface will look like, but make it hard to show what it will do, since they require programming or scripting in order to specify all but the most trivial interactions. For these reasons, most interface designers, especially those who have a background in graphic design, prefer to sketch early interface ideas on paper or on a whiteboard. We have developed an interactive tool called SILK that allows designers to quickly sketch an interface using an electronic pad and stylus. However, unlike a paper sketch, this electronic sketch is interactive. The designer can illustrate behaviors by sketching storyboards, which specify how the screen should change in response to end-user actions. This paper describes our storyboarding mechanism and provides design ideas for a production-level system.