Warren Ellis recently posted a short piece on the purpose of comic scripts. I think there’s a lesson in there for interface designers as well if you replace “comic author” with “interface designer” and “artist” with “coder”.

Even if you and the artist have previously agreed on content and scenes and set-pieces, clear and specific notation of the mechanics of the comic is down to you. You are telling the artist what to do. The trick is to get the artist to like it.

Reading it that way, it also makes a compelling argument why designers would benefit from coding skills, just as comic authors can benefit from drawing skills:

When you’re starting out, you may well find yourself writing “blind”: not knowing who the artist will be. This is why people like Alan Moore evolved that hyper-descriptive style — so he could get the end result he was looking for regardless of who was drawing it. You may prefer to do that. I would prefer that you took some art classes, and talk to some illustrators (this may involve sign language and grunting sounds). Investigate art, even if your drawing hand, like mine, behaves more like a flipper. Understanding what is joyful about illustration is important. It’s important to create a thing that will delight an artist. (And even a letterer, although that’s going to be harder as many of them have the demeanour of a demented gravedigger.)

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