Quick and easy – two core underlying components of many of the best Web and mobile apps out there. Too many of the wrong features can confuse; not enough of the right features and, well, traction can be difficult to garner.
With that in mind, Storyboard is the latest app to hit our radar that manages to focus on the mission in hand, making it easy for prospective users to come back for more.
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Storyboard is a little like About.me…for businesses, but it’s a much more multimedia-oriented than that.
What’s the story, Storyboard?
Remember those days of re-editing and uploading PDFs to the ‘Media Centre’ section on your company website? That’s the antitheses of what Storyboard is trying to do.
With Storyboard, the creators are going for the traditional press kit’s jugular. It’s designed to make it as simple as possible to pull together an aesthetically-pleasing, informative page that companies (or individuals) can use to help sell themselves to the press.
Here’s how it works.
You’ll be invited to start creating your first press kit – at which time you’ll probably want to grab a company-specific URL. For The Next Web, we nabbed storyboard.me/TNW.
You only need to give an email address, password and you’re good to go – once in, you’ll see a list of options to get the ball rolling.
The Mention section lets you create links to websites that, well, mention you. You can add any number and then position these around your profile page, while Text lets you manually add a little background information the company and there’s a dedicated tab that lets you add contact information – it could be email addresses, Facebook Pages, Twitter handles and so on.
You can also add a myriad of photos – be it staff snaps or logos, while you can embed videos (via YouTube or Vimeo) or sounds (thanks, SoundCloud). You can even add a stylized quote using a testimonial or a review about you.
It’s worth noting here that all assets are turned into easily shareable elements, so journalists can grab whatever they need with ease.
The various tiles that you add to your profile can easily be shifted around and repositioned, though it’s worth noting here that it would be nice if it adopted more of a ‘canvas and object’ approach, letting users physically alter the shape and size of the images, quotes and various content boxes.
Storyboard ticks a lot of boxes – it’s very easy to use, and for those who don’t wish to create yet another dull PDF or ‘About US’ page for reporters to access from their site, this offers a promising alternative. But there is certainly room for developments and improvements.
As things stand, there’s a danger of different Storyboard profiles looking a little samey – sure, objects can be dragged around, but it could maybe offer a little more personalization. It would be nice if it could serve up different design templates (for the creatively-challenged among us), or the option to change backgrounds and have overlays/effects. Press kits could stem from any number of industries, so it would be good to see this reflected in the offering.
But co-founder Nati Ohayon says that the reason they set things out the way they have is they “wish to set a standard for creating and maintaining” an online press kit. “We are going to add customization options for individual elements though, like embed and better sharing option for the individual units,” he adds.
While you can upload your logo to your account, it ends up being part of the main profile section. This is obviously to make it easy for journalists to download and use in any story they’re working on, but it would be good to be able to include a logo at the top of the profile page – as things stand, a company name is just written in plain text.
From another design perspective, it would great to see clearer categories implemented for the current incarnation of Storyboard – on a passing glance, it can be difficult to differentiate between images, sounds, links and videos.
Finally, while videos and sounds get top-billing in the main content-upload pane, one actually wonders how many media-seeking companies would have SoundCloud snippets to share. Certainly, if you’re a DJ, producer, maybe you would – and it’s worth acknowledging here that they could equally be part of the target market. But the average company likely would just have text, links, images and perhaps videos, which makes me think that at least one of these multimedia options will be redundant much of the time.
In terms of who Storyboard is targeting though, Ohayon says they have their eyes fixed on one particular segment.
“Our main target market is startups,” he says. “We discovered from the beta phase, that startups understand the value of our product. Even though we believe that storyboard can fit to directors, musicians, artists, fashionistas, public figures, and small brands. They all use a press kit, and it’s only a matter of time until we reach out to these different segments.”
Storyboard gives you a 14-day trial to begin with, after which you’ll have the option of paying $9/month (billed annually or each month) or $39/month. The difference? Well, the cheaper option means you create your own online press kit, while the pricier one gets the Storyboard created for you, notifications whenever you’re mentioned in the press and a monthly stats report.
Storyboard is based out of Tel Aviv, Israel and was launched in beta back in October 2012 by Nati Ohayon, Netanel Ohayon and Dani Megrelishvilli. You can read more about them on their very own Storyboard press kit.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock