Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff"

Is Harvey Pekar an IA?

I'm crashed out in the living room on Saturday, recovering from 10 crazy days of IA Summit and deadlines. Lovely serendipity! American Splendor is on IFC. I always loved the comics in college, and I'm happily re-falling in love with Paul Giamati as Harvey Pekar and James Urbaniak (also the voice of Dr. Venture) as R. Crumb.

American Splendor has a phenominal narrative approach. There are four points in time, represented by the formats of cinema (the movie set in the 70s with Paul Giamati), documentary (white screen interviews with Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner and others), comic (time passes through shots of comic covers), and animation (the meta-space of Harvey's mind, transitioning into illustration). Now I want to make little videos of all my IA deliverables, using different narrative styles into one long entertaining story. It would be a huge pain to implement, so I supposed I'd have to make ... more documentation...

I'm relating to Harvey Pekar's struggle to communicate the world he envisions, especially since he can't draw but can see what he wants to produce so vividly.

Forty-five minutes in, Harvey has:

- Done ethnographic research - observing his "everyman" at work moving a mattress to record conversations that everyone can relate to

- Assessed a user flow, concluding: "Standing in checkout line is pretty complicated, there's a lot of things you gotta consider." Rings true to me, especially after the last time I had to plot out shopping cart error messaging.

- Explained to stakeholders on why it's important to have good design: "Average is dumb"

- Summarized why it's important to write all the details down: "Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff"

- Got exasperated when his drawings didn't come close to his imagination: "I don't draw, I just write the story"

Can someone PLEASE be my Visio R. Crumb?

No comments: