Show, Don’t Tell: Storytelling Experience Design in Modern Comics

Date: March 5, 2014
Mike Lonergan, Intel

Mike Lonergan

Comics are a collaborative storytelling effort—many talented individuals contribute to the success or failure of each comic book, much as a good design team leverages complementary talents in delivering a stunning product. When their talents are combined, the writer (information architect) and artists (visual designers) attract attention and deliver the mood and flow (interaction design) to pull the reader along a highly stylized, deliberate path. Mike will take you on an illuminating journey of discovery, highlighting his favorite design techniques in comics that facilitate not just the mechanics of reading but the pure enjoyment of these colorful stories.

Along the way, you’ll be granted a tour of comic book storytelling techniques that can enrich your design communications such as storyboarding, visual cues and iconography and unique ways to show your users the happy path without having to tell them.

About the Speaker
Mike Lonergan (@paranoidmike) spent his formative years holed up in the tropical Canadian tundra outside Toronto, reading comics and Hardy Boys, watching movies and dreaming of being famous for his mastery of the intricate plots of sitcom TV. His misspent years as a young adult chased the innards of computer technology, but always felt compelled to help the Muggles make heads or tails of the computers and Internet chatter surrounding them. A half-dozen years each at Microsoft and Intel didn’t entirely blacken his soul, and the empathy that tunes him into the needs of end users is strong in this one. He designs software and processes down to the least cripplingly necessary overhead, and dreams of the day when his “smart” phone will recognise him half as easily as his dog. Mike has reviewed over 700 comic graphic novels on Goodreads ( and will talk your ear off about the merits of writers vs pencillers, inkers and colourists if you’re dumb enough to get him started.


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Show, Don’t Tell: Storytelling Experience Design in Modern Comics from CHIFOO Communications on Vimeo.