June 13th, 2007
Rebekah Sedaca, a user experience designer at Capstrat, recently wrote an article for Boxes and Arrows on how she uses comics and animated transitions in the design process. She finds comics particularly useful when trying to communicate complicated concepts and get buy-in from groups of diverse and non-technical project stakeholders, all in a limited amount of time.
Rebekah explains why she uses comics:
Comics are effective not only because they are essentially narrative, but also because they are unpretentious, easy to follow, and accessible. Whereas a functional specification document uses words and often “tech speak” to communicate functionality, comics use pictures and interactions to get ideas across. Comic artist and Yahoo! staffer Kevin Cheng put it best, calling comics “the universal language.”
And how she uses comics to explain the user experience in a series of steps:
Step 1: Focus on the point (forget the details) I was already well aware of our key scenarios and use cases, so I crafted brief stories in paragraph form for each one. Taking the time to write these stories before incorporating them into a comic allowed me to focus on the main points and the completeness of the message without the clutter of images and thought bubbles…
If you’re still skeptical of the value of comics, I think Rebekah’s story will give you a new perspective. You can read Rebekah’s full article, and see the sample comics here: Comics: Not just for laughs!Tweet