002: Sketching stories

backpain -app user flow.jpg


To practice sketchnoting, and help a startup founder either envision, problem solve or explain a part of their startup.

Learning goals this week

  • Reasons why you’d want to create a story.

  • Understand there are different types of stories to choose from for different purposes.

  • Know some principles to help you get started, by practicing them on 3 different scenarios of explaining:

    • Your bio and what makes your founder skills unique.

    • The problem your startup addresses from the point of view of your users.

    • Your solution & how it’s experienced by your users.

      • User Flows

      • “How stuff works” diagrams


Always sketch with a real user and their real problem in mind.



backpain -app user flow.jpg


Observing and deconstructing basic shapes and forms.

Reasons for creating a story

  1. To sell: The futurist’s inspiring vision told in detail gets buy-in.

  2. To spot what’s missing in the usability of the solution.

  3. To simplify and build understanding.

  4. To be persuasive or build an argument and consensus in a crowd.

Your bio

Hero’s journey: You’re at the point of collecting your reward and what completion will look like.

Different types of stories.jpg


  1. Introduce characters and their struggle

  2. Impact on them

  3. Context: How they contribute to their own problem and what else does.

  4. Catch 22 and maybe what it would take to break the cycle.

backpain -app user flow.jpg


  1. Metaphores and similes

  2. User flows

  3. “How stuff works” diagrams

Content strategy.jpeg
checkout user flow.jpeg
picnic world 1.jpg
cloud world.jpg


  • Why sketch a story? The futurist’s inspiring vision told in detail gets buy-in.

  • Bio: hero’s journey and what a win will look like.

  • Problems: Impact, character’s role in causing the unbreakable cycle.

  • Solution: metaphors and similes