IA Summit 2009

  IA SUMMIT 2009
March 18-22, 2009, Memphis, Tennessee

See What I Mean:  How to Use Comics to Communicate Ideas

All Day Seminar, Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 9:00am-5:00pm (separate fees)

We live in an age of bite sized information where gaining the attention of our potential customers, executives, sponsors, clients or even peers can be difficult.

Stakeholders seldom read the carefully prepared specifications or reports and customers have become blind to advertisements and marketing copy.

Earlier this year, Google chose to overcome these communication barriers by marketing their new browser, Google Chrome, with a comic book drawn by comics legend Scott McCloud.

Just as vividly as they convey the feats of superheroes, comics can tell stories about your customers and products. They can provide your organization with an exciting and effective alternative to slogging through requirements documents and long reports.
In this full day workshop, the presenter will discuss how you can use comics as a powerful communication tool without any illustration training or background.

This interactive workshop will teach you

Learning objectives
Attendees of this workshop should gain an understanding of a number of topics in depth, including:

How will the workshop be conducted
The workshop will be a combination of presentation and participation. Participants will alternate between learning some of the theory of the medium and applying them to a comic of their own.

Core IA-related issues
Practitioners are always seeking new tools and methods to assist with their day to day activities. A large part of the task of an IA is not only to do the tasks assigned to us but effectively communicate the proposed solutions. The comics method represents a fast, easily accessible tool that most people forget they are capable of doing. Further, the skill of storytelling in general, whether though comics or not, is one that needs to be refined for presenting in any medium.

This workshop has been expanded and designed to help anyone who needs to communicate a product or idea concisely to their customers or business stakeholders. In particular, this workshop is suitable for designers, marketers and product managers.

Where & when the session has been previously presented
This workshop has been presented with very high reviews at the last three IA Summits as a full day workshop, at CanUX 2006 and at Jared Spoolís UI 12 conference. It has been expanded greatly to encompass the material that will be included in a forthcoming book and incorporate many of the industry examples that have appeared over the past year.

Participants will be given copies of:

8:30 AM      Introductions and objectives (discussion)
9:00 AM      The process of using comics in design (talk)
9:30 AM      Why comics are powerful (talk)
10:00 AM    Break (20mins)
10:20 AM    The seed (exercise)
10:35 AM    Settings, characters and stories (discussion and exercise)
11:15 AM    Flow, camera angles, progression (discussion and exercise)
11:45 AM    Tools for creating comics
12:15 PM    Lunch (1.5hrs)
1:45 PM      Drawing comics! (exercise)
2:15 PM      Gathering feedback from comics (talk)
3:15 PM      Break (20mins)
3:35 PM      Peer user feedback (exercise)
4:00 PM      Comic reviews (discussion)
4:30 PM      Selling comics in the organization (discussion)
5:00 PM      Wrap-up / Q&A / Overview of course notes / Feedback

Kevin Cheng
was one of those kids who missed the memo to stop drawing after the first grade. Nowadays, he splits his crayon time between many endeavors. He is the Director of Product Strategy at Raptr, a videogame social network, the co-founder and artist for OK/ Cancel, a webcomic on user experience, and the co-founder of Off Panel Productions, an online comic publishing network. He is also the author of the upcoming book, See What I Mean: How to Communicate Ideas with Comics published by Rosenfeld Media.

Kevin previously exerted his crayon prowess at Yahoo!ís Brickhouse incubator where he designed Pipes and Bravonation, and at Yahoo! Maps, Yahoo! Local, Adaptive Path, and Trilogy.

He holds a Masterís Degree from University College London in Human Computer
Interaction and has presented on strategy and design topics at numerous conferences including the Information Architecture Summit, the User Interface Conference, and South by Southwest.

Kevin blogs at kevnull.com and has been known to Twitter as @k. One day, Kevin hopes to be able to answer all questions related to design by simply referencing comic strips.


$550, before Feb. 7, 2009
$625, after Feb. 7, 2009