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
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
You put your left foot in,
You put your left foot out;
You put your left foot in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey-Pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
And so on…
I am a klutz. I fully admit this fact. So, whenever I’m in a show that requires me to learn any kind of choreography, whether dancing, fighting, or intricate movement details, I start to feel butterflies flutter in my stomach. My own nervousness has been known to get in the way and cause me to stumble. I would probably be fine if I could just learn to relax and go with the flow. But the language of choreography and movement is confusing to me. I just don’t get what I should do. Even as a kid, I always hated that silly game Hokey-Pokey. Case in point: I was in the middle of a reasonably simple dance in a show. We were performing outside, on the grass, and I was so worried about ruts or rocks in the ground that I wasn’t paying attention to everything else. One of my shoes went flying off! Horribly embarrassing! Though I’m sure only the people in the front of the audience even noticed. Did I mention I’m a klutz? Read More