A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Lepore, Traci

8 found.

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The CSS of Design Storytelling: Context, Spine, and Structure

Storytelling is an age-old tradition, because it’s one that just plainly and simply works. I won’t regale you with research that shows people learn and comprehend better from stories than they do otherwise. Just know that it’s out there! But to be a really good storyteller, you need to understand three basic concepts: Context, Spine, and Structure (CSS). Each is critical and necessary, and all three need to work together.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2011). Articles>Web Design>CSS


The Holy Grail of Innovation: It Takes an Ensemble to Achieve Inspired Creativity

Have you ever seen really good improv? Did you walk out of the experience willing to swear that the actors had rehearsed it ahead of time or it was some kind of magic? I’ll let you in on an actor’s secret: chances are the work was neither rehearsed nor magic! What’s more likely is that the group performing the improv was a true ensemble of actors who had trained and practiced the principles of improv and were accustomed to working together. When it comes to knowing how to achieve innovative design, you may be just as mystified as you were watching that improv. Everywhere around us today, we feel the desire and drive to build innovative products and find creative solutions to design problems. I’m sure you have, at times, thought those were impossible goals to achieve. But if we take some lessons from the practice of theatrical improvisation, we’ll discover it isn’t really that hard at all.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Collaboration


I Have an Idea! Forums for Design Conversations and Negotiations

Working together in a group to produce a creative outcome is difficult—don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. A time or two, I’ve had that same feeling of being dumbstricken when participating in various forms of UX design brainstorming sessions.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Experience>Collaboration


Stage Directions Meet Functional Specifications: They Have a Lot in Common

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.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>Functional Specifications


The UX Designer’s Place in the Ensemble: Directing the Vision

What does directing have to do with creating a user interface design? Well, we know a director is responsible for the strategic vision of creative work. That’s a given. But, did you know he is also responsible for ensuring a successful outcome that both meets his vision and is in line with the producer’s desires and budget? To make that happen, a director works with the cast, crew, costume and set designers, and everyone else who contributes to a successful theatrical production to pull together a cohesive product, without losing site of his vision. It’s a complicated job.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Experience>Collaboration>Project Management


What Place Does Theater Have in the Creative Process of Design?

As designers, to be truly innovative, we must open ourselves up to new ideas, surround ourselves with diverse inputs, and be willing to embark on a new journey—regardless of whether we know the destination. Actors and others who create theater would tell you this kind of mindset is part their everyday work culture. So, what can we learn from the way actors and other theatrical artists work that will help us be more innovative, too?

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Experience


What’s My Persona? Developing a Deep and Dimensioned Character

I believe designers gather data to understand the personas that represent the users for whom they are designing a user interface. This is quite similar to the way actors must develop an understanding of their characters. So, developing their character-building and storytelling skills can help designers—just as it does actors.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Methods>Personas


Why Great Designers Steal—and Are Proud of It

It is a fact of life that creative people—if they are any good—constantly absorb input and stimuli that influences their own creative output. By nature, they imitate and play with the ideas of other creative people. It’s how they learn and grow. It doesn’t matter whether you call this trait awareness, empathy, or even stealing. No innovative or successful design happens in a vacuum. Regardless of whether you realize it, what you see and interact with around you every day influences your work. Picasso just happened to be a master when it came to using stolen goods for the benefit of his own artistic pursuits.

Lepore, Traci. UXmatters (2011). Design>Web Design

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