Friday, April 3, 2009

Canceled: Bookswap: Josh Porter discuss his book, April 23rd 7pm

This event has been canceled

Joshua Porter will be discussing his book Designing for the Social Web followed by Q&A and discussion - send us your question in advance if you cant make it.

There will be a raffle for some books from Morgan Kaufmann. You are entered in the raffle when you signup for the bookswap, send us a question and when you RSVP. Three chances to win!

When: Thursday April 23rd at 7pm
Where: Trident bookstore on Newbury St, Boston.
RSVP and/or Questions for the Author:

In addition to the book discussion we've setup a bookswap to allow the community to share used design related books. Here's how it works; First you list the books you are willing to share on, and tag them with ixda_boston_bookclub. Give us your librarything url and we'll share it with the community. People can then parse the list of books and then contact the sharer.

There is no requirement to sign up to this but if you are interested, please follow these steps:
  1. (optional) Create a catalog of books on the free service
  2. Become a Boston IxDA book club member by signing up
  3. To view a list of members and to explore the books available, check out the
  4. Interested in borrowing a book? Contact the owner and meet them at the event or arrange a separate time.

We would like to thank Eva Kaniasty for first suggesting this and taking on the task of organizing the first event. In the future, we aim to make this a self-organizing social where members can connect, share, and propose topics for the book club.

Thank you, and we are looking forward to seeing you on the 23rd of April!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Event Report: Using comics to communicate design

We “designers” typically have all kinds of ideas floating around in our grey matter from one moment to the next. Sometimes they directly apply to the project we’re working on, other times, not so much. One big challenge we have is figuring out the best way to get them out of our heads and into the heads of others. In other words, how do we communicate them well enough to be discussed, iterated, grown, and maybe even (whoa, Nellie) prototyped?

I could list a few ways we commonly share ideas, but I won’t waste this space with the things you already know and use daily. Lately, there has been a trend in our Interaction Design discipline to borrow successful methods from other domains and use them in ours. For example, we have sketching as taught in Industrial Design, storyboarding that comes from movie making, and now comic strips that come from, well, comic strips.

“Comic strips?” you ask. “But, we want people to take us seriously!”

IxDA Boston decided to investigate this, and invited Amy Cueva, the CXO of the design consultancy Mad*Pow, to share her experiences with using this method. Autodesk Waltham kindly hosted the event in the new building on the evening of March 19th (and attendees got a sneak peek of the almost-finished CBC Boston Gallery!).
Amy shared with us how she came across the method, how she successfully uses this tool in her design business to communicate ideas, and what the benefits and limitations of this tool can be. She was quick to give credit to Kevin Cheng who has pioneered the use of comics in design, himself originally writing comic spoofs on the Interaction Design community at his website

Amy gave us lots of great examples in her presentation and got us all walking the talk in a couple of breakout sessions along the way. While we all wished we could actually draw as well as Kevin (and his co-conspirator Tom Chi), Amy assured us that we needn’t fret about our lack of artistry because we would use the drawing skills we learned in second grade to create our own comic strips.

For the most part, she was right.

Amy has kindly shared with us her presentation, some comic strip templates, and these additional links:


PS. I could have been crafty and written this post in comic strip form, but I’m no Amy Cueva or Kevin Cheng.