Thursday, January 21, 2010

Get Well Cartoon: New Doctor

I was working on some other cartoons when this get well idea slapped me in the back of the head like my fourth grade teacher used to do when I was not paying attention. I’m not sure if it was legal but it certainly explains a lot. I was thinking about hospitals and some of the experiences that I have had in them. I have been fortunate enough to have had some really good physicians but I started to think about it a little and “What if that were not the case?”

I started to think about the possible conversations that might take place in a medical situation. This was one of those conversations between a nurse and the doctor during surgery. Maybe this is really why you get put to sleep during surgery. Kidding….ha! ha!

I also had some other ideas but this one struck me as something a little more appropriate and not so over the top sarcastic and well… some respects….just down right cruel. I hope you enjoy this get well cartoon and have a great day.

This cartoon is free to use as content for your website as long as a credit in the form of a link is given.
 Link Example:
Cartoon provided by “Ira Coffin” at or
Cartoon provided by “Ira Coffin” at

Do the Old Rules Still Apply in Design?

The Internets have been around long enough you can now go back and look at "old" website designs and see what's changed. It's really fascinating to look at an interface design book from a while ago and see what people were dealing with.

For example, the time it took for a page to load used to be of paramount importance. We were in the land of dial-up connections. People carefully constructed Web pages so that they wouldn't have to load too many graphics. Making people stare at a spinning clock or hourglass - and half a graphic - was death.

Well, these days we've got YouTube videos all over everything, animated popup ads that slap themselves over the top of whatever you are looking at, weird little dancing people in banners at the side of the page -- is this good?

One thing that hasn't changed is how much people like to control the display of information. Listing things according to what people care about is still extremely important. I remember working on the info architecture for the Xerox website years ago, and we came up with a way to compare various printers and copiers by letting people re-sort the list of products according to things like paper size, whether it could fax, resolution, etc. This was pretty new, and some of the architecture got into Jakob Nielsen's book Designing Web Usability (page 215, yes I'm still proud darnit).

These days, people sort things all the time. You can sort your email, sort your files on your desktop, and shopping sites are one big sorting festival.

So, yes, the old rules still apply - the ones that say the user wants control. It's just that now, we can give people control of the information along with a nifty video of the latest celebrity meltdown or an animated person gaining and losing weight over and over. Isn't that great?

Cartoons are Prototypes for Life.

I recently came across an article from a while back: "A Forgotten Prototype Technique: Comics" by Jared Spool.

When I worked in film and video production, I used visualisation all the time. In film, sketching things out on paper is critical to saving yourself a ton of headaches - and money - later. I drew storyboards, once taking one down as dictation while the director paced up and down and described the plot of his rap music video. I sketched out set designs too. I even sketched a design for a retail store once for a gentleman who needed to visualise how a new layout for a Gap store might look.

The thing about using this technique for prototyping a user interface is, you can include the prospective user in the visuals. Just like Mystery Science Theatre, you can get reactions while showing what's going on on the screen.

It is not as simple as it looks - figuring out what to include in each frame, what dialogue might occur, and how to tell the story clearly requires a cinematic approach. It is almost more like developing a graphic novel than an interface design.

I often cartoon about people - and animals - interacting with technology. Now, I'm thinking that maybe these could be counted as user testing. That is, if you want to know how animals might use computers. Wave of the future, you know.

Odd Parents Broadcasts

The Fairly OddParents is a cartoon television series show very popular from the United States created by Butch Hartman.

He served on the hit television channel Nickelodeon. He also served on the whole world. Now, this event is the most popular event at Nickelodeon, just placed second only to SpongeBob SquarePants.

This television series was produced by Frederator Studios for the Nickelodeon cable channel, and has been launched outside the United States by the union of Canada Nelvana animation.

Impressions cartoon television series for children event also been aired on Indonesian television broadcasts.

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