When it comes to modern theater, stage directions—the descriptive text that appears within brackets in a script—are an important piece of the puzzle. They speak for the playwright when he is not there. They provide details about how the playwright has imagined the environment and atmosphere. They describe critical physical aspects of the characters and settings. Stage directions can also be critical in dictating the intended tempo and rhythm of the piece. Whether they establish a production’s overall tone or elucidate particular actions of characters, stage directions help tell the complete story that is in the playwright’s mind. Stage directions accomplish all of this, using a simple convention that structurally separates them from the actual story.
Tennessee Williams, the playwright of A Streetcar Named Desire, strives to give a play “the spirit of life” through his stage directions. Read the following snippet from the opening of Scene 1, and you’ll find it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t achieve that goal. Read More
Why is every conversation about wireframes I’ve encountered lately so tense? For instance, at a recent UX Book Club meeting whose topic was a discussion of some articles on wireframes, the conversation moved quickly from the actual articles to the question of what a wireframe even was. What the discussion came down to was this: no one knows the answer, and trying to find it feels like a wild-goose chase—or like wandering off on our own down a yellow brick road to find the all-knowing and powerful Oz to figure the answer out for us.
The Wizard of Oz asks questions like: What is courage or heart or a brain?Who should define them for us? As I see it, UX design suffers from similar definitional issues. We don’t all mean the same thing when we say sketch or wireframe or prototype. So how can we all get on the same page? There are differences between a sketch, a wireframe, and a prototype, but how can we understand the distinctions and the best use of each? And what is their value as communication vehicles? Let’s discuss what separates a sketch from a wireframes from a prototype. Read More
Does it sometimes feel like design has become a four-letter word? As I interact with product teams lately, design seems to have become a bit of a groan inducer. And I had thought we were beyond that! It had been a while since I’d encountered this particular issue, but it is starting to creep back in.
Why are we experiencing this déjà vu? Simple. Teams are again treating design like an embellishment, a superficial veneer whose purpose is to cover flaws—that dreaded lipstick on a pig. I blame this sorry state of affairs on agile and Lean methods. These so-called iterative processes are all the rage. Their focus is on fast execution and ditching documentation. But in focusing on production, some teams set up a situation in which they fail to think and plan. And, without any vision, teams are heading down a treacherous path. Read More