The cards are a great introduction to the wide variety of methods that are available for researching and framing the users’ experience. Think of the methods deck as a “toolbox”; some UX tools are better suited to certain jobs than others.
The cards include familiar methods, like #14 Wireframe, as well as less well known methods like #12 Swimlanes. Incidentally, the Swimlanes deliverable on card #12 recently won the 2008 IA Summit “People’s Choice Award” at the Eight Shapes‘ sponsored Wall of Deliverables.
I created the Swimlanes document along with my former co-worker Yvonne Shek. The defining feature of the Swimlanes document has to be the storyboard or comic strip. This is what draws stakeholders in to the deliverable. As part of this project, I created a storyboarding “kit” for depicting usage scenarios with artist Kelly Mellings (who provided the incredible raw character art) . The kit contained multiple views of each user, with the ability to display a range of emotional reactions. With the kit, I was able to quickly depict the “stories” of a large number of tasks and scenarios.
Project stakeholders always have a hard time reading stacks of documentation. But comic strips capture attention and are easily read and digested by those passing by, especially if they’re printed large. If you’re interested in learning more about storyboarding with comics, check out Kevin Cheng‘s presentation, Communicating Concepts Through Comics.
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