Saturday, May 13, 2006

Defining the Problem: Q&A with Kevin Cheng

An interesting interview with Kevin Cheng, OK/Cancel ...

"In the third round of our discussions about using design for Defining the Problem, I had the chance to speak with Kevin Cheng, top-notch comic artist and UI designer at Yahoo! and OK/Cancel. In particular we discussed a problem framing technique he’s been presenting at several user experience design events.

Q: First of all, I'm a big fan of your recent work using comics to communicate product direction to both stakeholders and end users. Can you talk about how that initiative came about? What were you guys trying to achieve?

A: The idea originated from a discussion between Tom Chi, my partner in OK/Cancel, and Bill Buxton at CHI 2005. Bill was working on a book on experience design and thinking about how to apply Scott McCloud's concepts in Understanding Comics to sketching the dynamics of interaction. The three of us got together and the discussions moved towards the use of comics as contrasted with the use of traditional screen storyboards.

Later, I joined Yahoo! Local and Maps and one of the key issues they faced in a recent launch of Local was the inconsistent interpretation of what the product vision and direction was. As it happens, I was about to embark on designing a major product feature, which had yet to be defined in depth. We took this as an opportunity to try something new since nothing we'd tried thus far worked to a satisfactory level.

Our goal was to have something which could be used to quickly solicit feedback and could be easily iterated, digested and distributed. Comics turned out to have these properties and more."   continued ...   (Via Functioning Form)

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