Heartline: A Lifeline to Your Loved Ones (Storyboard)

Today in studio class, we showed off the high-fidelity storyboards that we made for class – the intent behind them was to use the iterative process to tell a compelling story through a storyboard that stood on its own.

When I first started thinking about the storyboard, I wanted to design something not for myself, but for someone with whom I have an emotional connection.

I chose my mother.

My mother has chronic depression, and as a child, I remember clearly the days where she literally couldn’t get up. On her end, she felt hopeless and alone. On my end, I wasn’t sure I knew what to do, and even if I did, the depression seemed so insurmountable to one kid. So I thought about an app that might help facilitate a connection between her and other people suffering from depression and their support groups. From this, Heartline was born.

Heartline Storyboard

I’d like to talk a little about my process here. Using 8.5×11 pieces of paper, I sketched out every panel in this storyboard in pen/Sharpie, and then scanned them all into the computer. Then, using Photoshop, I adjusted the levels and set the layers to Multiply so that I could color underneath.

I did a layout of the boxes around the images and text boxes (because even without the shading, if I didn’t have the text boxes, I felt like I wouldn’t be able to communicate the full story), and then went in to shading. I initially was going to go full color, but I decided against it because gray + one color makes a lot larger impact than full color.

These two panels are my favorite in terms of interface. It was the first time that I had used my own handwriting instead of text, and I actually like the effect that it had.

I blocked out color and then erased to give it some crisper edges.

Overall, I learned a lot from this project. The first thing I learned is how much effort it takes to put into high fidelity storyboards. The second is making sure, above all else, layout, layout, layout. Sometimes I can get mired in shading details, and honestly, the way I shaded the storyboard is less important than the layout and the text boxes. Third, I’m starting to feel more confident in telling compelling stories, especially one so close to me.

I have to say that upon thinking more about this fictional app, I want to make this exist, not just for my mother, but for my grandmother, who lives alone, and for my cousins, who just survived the Colorado flooding. It’s important to check up on loved ones from time to time, and I think Heartline provides a structure for people to connect.