Other than Calvin and Hobbes, I’m not much of a comic guy. There’s been a number of contributors in the web design arena who have advocated using comics to communicate a user’s experience interacting with an information system (web or client). Typically, I think of the folks over at OK/Cancel, but I know others, such as Dan Brown, are influenced by Scott McCloud.
Today I came across a post by Martin Hardee of the Sun Design Team. His team has been using comics to convey user experiences with the sun.com site. Interestingly, he has provided a template that is freely available to use, provided you have access to Sun’s Office suite (OpenOffice is freely available).
Unfortunately, I am unable to install OpenOffice on my work machine, so I’ll have to look at the template when I get home.
As I mentioned to Martin, since I’m an information architect without the gift of artistic design, I am eager to use any existing templates. I’m a visual learner by nature, so having the ability to succinctly depict user experience issues to technical teams or end users alike in a visual (versus text) format is something I hope to do more of in the future. I truly hope that the template will provide some good images like that seen below. Thanks to Martin and Sun for graciously allowing me to copy content from his blog and repost it here.
We have posted a set of templates that folks can use to create their own comics. The first batch is at: http://blogs.sun.com/MartinHardee/entry/design_comics_templates_1_0