How To Start Your Project with End User Experience in Mind First with VS2012. Don’t Write Code Till You Need Too.

Regardless of target platform, desktop, web, mobile etc., with Visual Studio 2012, we've introduced the notion of storyboarding with PowerPoint. Why? Because it's often the Business Analyst and not the developer, who understands the initial goals. Of course, most often the Business Analyst is not and does not have to be a developer. Hence PowerPoint. 

So before you have to go off and even start writing code, think of the user experience first. This is the paramount goal. This is done through a tool, we all know and love, PowerPoint.

We've introduced a Storyboard ribbon to enable you to rapidly collaborate on the user experience. And all of this can be associated with work items, hence collaboration between the team is encouraged.

Storyboarding in VS2012 looks as follows.

So let's see what it looks like with several screenshots.

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Add you can create your own themes and controls. And there are a bunch of default controls, that you can take advantage of out of the box.

This is much quicker to create and easier to communicate.







Comments (11)

  1. Chris OConnor says:

    Do you actually NEED to have VS-2012 installed – to use the Storyboarding tab within PowerPoint ?    

    Most BA's I deal with are not code-people – and they wouldn't want or need VS-2012 – nor should they…

  2. Mark Fitzpatrick says:

    Chris, it appears that you need Visual Studio 2012 Premium or Ultimate.…/visual-studio-2012-improving-user-stories-and-requirements-with-powerpoint-storyboarding.aspx

  3. George says:

    Don't Write Code Till You Need Too But Install First The Visual Studio! Do Microsoft Know That Most Business Analyst Do Not use Visual Studio Because They Don't Code!

    Think The Big Picture. 😉

  4. Chris OConnor says:

    Agreed !    Business Analysts use MS-Word, Visio and the like – and define spec's – for a developer who uses Visual Studio.    We use "Balsamiq" for this storyboarding – and thought the PowerPoint storyboarding would be a good alternative – I was wrong.

  5. Jason Singh says:

    Fully understandable. I've reached out internally about VS SKU options. Will get back to you soon as I can get a definitive response. Apologies in the meantime.

  6. Thanks for the response – it's certainly a great took (PowerPoint Storyboarding) – but not a 'dev' piece…

  7. Jason Singh says:

    Here's the Product Group version of the Story so far…, pardon the expression!

    1) Microsoft is generally in the suite business.  We try not to present customers with a menu of 1,000 features and let them pick which ones too buy.  That would be a terrible customer experience.  We try to combine the coherent feature sets into products and offer them.  You can’t buy just a C++ compiler – you buy VS.  You can’t buy just a WPF development tool – you buy VS.  Etc.  VS has everything a developer might want and probably more than any given developer will ever need.

    2) The Test Pro SKU has many things in it that many business users might want:

    a. Sprint and backlog management – a common activity for business users.

    b. Storyboarding – A subset of on non-dev team business users will use storyboarding as a way to communicate their needs.

    c. Exploratory testing – For a more technical business user, it’s a good way to test the product being delivered.

  8. Jason Singh says:

    So please note, the Visual Studio Product Group looked hard at changing the name of that SKU to better reflect the breadth of its intended audience but we concluded that the downsides outweigh the upsides.

  9. Jason Singh says:

    Here's a link…/hh409276.aspx


     • To create and modify storyboards:

       ◦ Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, or Visual Studio Test Professional.

       ◦ Office PowerPoint 2007 or later version

  10. Rick El-Darwish says:

    I've been using a nifty little mockup / storyboarding tool called Balsamiq – it's available on all operating systems and as a cloud app, and insanely easy to use so great for non techies. Might be a good alternative to the VS2012/PowerPoint combo 🙂 I like where Microsoft is taking this though!

  11. Jason Singh says:

    So we can take the approach of Balsamiq. Sure, but we want the BA/UX to also participate right through to delivery. We don't want them to disappear after creating some wireframes…

    We want them to fully participate. Testing via Exploratory Testing with rich diagnostics automatically captured such as Video, Test Steps, IntelliTrace, System Information etc.

    We also want the BA/UX to participate in the Agile Web Access boards. We want them to see the delivery fully end to end. But I hear your opinion and am sharing it internally within Microsoft. Thank you.

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