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ZAP! POW! Super UX! What comics can teach us about story and image in user interfaces


How can we as UX designers collect inspiration and broaden our vocabularies by looking - really looking - at how a bunch of marks on a page can convey the struggles of superheroes in the real world or the overwhelming desire to just kick the dang football.

Sequential artforms (comics/graphic novels) have been exploring how to engage and excite readers for over a century. Are there secret clues to better interfaces hidden within the panels of Peanuts or the Watchmen? As we continue to hone our UX superpowers, let's look to our recent visual heritage for tips and tricks that can light our way. What lessons can we gather from comics to create successful user interfaces on the desktop and within the mobile browser? How does this other visual medium create engaging sequences of flow and focus, or of exposition, response, and surprise?

Ready? User experience powers activate!