Designing interfaces and writing comics

Reading time: 1-2 minutes

For the interactive design work I’m doing recently, I’m in the process of designing ‘screens’ for a mobile app which is what you would see on the screen of your phone depending on what you’re doing in the app. We went from rough sketches and notes to black and white wireframes of the elements that would appear on key screens, to high fidelity designs and now I have all the screens in a design prototype where I am able to tap regions of a screen to take me to another screen, giving me an idea of the flow from screen to screen.

When writing a comic, I start out with rough notes and ideas. I then start developing an outline of key scenes and plot points. After that the script is written, scene by scene, panel by panel. The artist I’m working with reads the script, asks any questions they may have and puts together ‘thumbnails’ of pages which are essentially rough sketches of the panel layouts and character shots based on the dialogue.

As you can probably already tell, the process for writing is very similar to the process for interface design. Essentially, ideas are fleshed out into a visual form of storytelling. In a comic, the actions happen through reading as you go from panel to panel. In an app, the story is interactive, told through the actions that you take tapping your way from screen to screen. On some level, I think these similarities are ultimately why I have an equal interest in doing both kinds of work!

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