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See What I Mean: How to Use Comics to Communicate Ideas Paperback – December 5, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A breakthrough book by Kevin Cheng that will soon have you making breakthroughs of your own. If you care about clear thinking and communication, this book belongs in your library. --Dave Gray, author of Gamestorming and The Connected Company

Think you can't draw? Wish you could? Want to make your personas and scenarios and user stories much more vivid with pictures? Now you can! Get this book! Kevin Cheng shows and tells us why comics are a wonderful way to convey the stories of our designs. And he makes it easy for even the drawing-challenged (like me) to do it. --Janice (Ginny) Redish, author, Letting Go of the Words-Writing Web Content that Works (2nd ed., 2012)

Even if you are a product manager, in marketing, or engineering manager, who has no aspirations to learn to cartoon, this book may be even more important to you, since your job may well be all the more about effective communication. This will help build priceless literacy in what could be an effective arrow in your quiver of techniques. --Bill Buxton, author of Sketching the User Experience

Think you can't draw? Wish you could? Want to make your personas and scenarios and user stories much more vivid with pictures? Now you can! Get this book! Kevin Cheng shows and tells us why comics are a wonderful way to convey the stories of our designs. And he makes it easy for even the drawing-challenged (like me) to do it. --Janice (Ginny) Redish, author, Letting Go of the Words-Writing Web Content that Works (2nd ed., 2012)

Even if you are a product manager, in marketing, or engineering manager, who has no aspirations to learn to cartoon, this book may be even more important to you, since your job may well be all the more about effective communication. This will help build priceless literacy in what could be an effective arrow in your quiver of techniques. --Bill Buxton, author of Sketching the User Experience

About the Author

Kevin is the co-founder and President of Incredible Labs, a startup that's creating a mobile personal assistant named Donna. Previously, he was a product manager at Twitter, leading the redesign of the website, the Director of User Experience at the gaming social network Raptr, and the designer of Yahoo! Pipes. He also co-founded the user experience web comic OK/Cancel, and the online comic publishing network Off Panel Productions. He holds a Masters degree from University College London in Human Computer Interaction and Ergonomics and has presented about design, comics, and augmented reality at numerous conferences including Interaction, IA Summit, User Interface Conference, UXWeek, and South by Southwest. He likes the flavour of the blue crayons the best. Kevin blogs at kev/null and also shares his thoughts on Twitter (@k). One day, Kevin hopes to be able to answer all questions related to design by simply referencing comic strips.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Rosenfeld Media; 1st edition (December 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933820276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933820279
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If I had to summarize this book in one word it would be accessible. The book itself is very easy to dive into and surprisingly fun to read. Each chapter starts with a summary in comic form and is followed up by more in depth writing on the topic.

The book dives into some pretty in-depth UX concepts but it also presents comic ideas that anyone can latch onto. The most intimidating part of comics is the actual drawing, Kevin goes out of his way to makes this as easy as possible. You don't have to be an artist to apply these concepts to your work.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a fantastic summary of how, when and why to use comics for business. It's like a less philosophical version of Scott McCloud's excellent "Understanding Comics", but specifically applied to business world. I found it particularly useful as a designer, but anyone who is looking to expand their repertoire of communication skills would get a lot out of it.

Aside from the advice in the book being encouraging and comprehensive (the collection of digital tools opened my eyes to a ton of tools I wasn't aware existed), there are two main reasons why I'm glad I bought it (the physical book, specifically):

- the comic summaries of each chapter. There were a couple of chapters that I didn't read in their entirety--I felt like the comic summary gave me enough to realise I didn't need to dive deeper. On the other chapters that I did read in their entirety, the comic summaries serve as a useful reference when I'm flicking back through, looking for something.
- the comics used in the book are NOT the high quality, polished artwork that the author created several years back with his OK/Cancel blog (of which I was a fan). They're rough, almost sloppy at times. And I suspect this is on purpose, to demonstrate to the reader the important fact that your comics do not have to be award-winning artwork that most readers would feel intimidated attempting to mimic. This is a book about communication, and you don't need to be an artist to communicate with comics.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
You'll learn how to use comics to convey messages in a clear and memorable way.
It's a fun read, and packed with immensely practical advice.

Whilst not a silver bullet, this style of communication ought to be in your toolbox.
Highly recommended -- and your audience will appreciate it.

Lastly... I'd be remiss if I didn't link to a quick sketch :)

EDIT: turns out that external links are verboten...
But if you were to look at /HAT1Wc1 on imgur then you might see what I mean all the same.
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Format: Paperback
See What I Mean , How to Use Comics to Communicate Ideas delivers upon it's title. This is a book about communication with comics. Comics are illustrations that share a visual message augmented by captions and text. This book explains the theory behind using comics to communicate ideas. A practice that has been successfully enacted by companies such as Google, eBay, and Adobe.

Admittedly, I am not a comic book reader. Yet I found this book to be very useful in describing how to use drawings and visuals to communicate. Given the tools contained within the book, even the most art challenged among us can create comics. Each chapter begins with an overview presented in comic form with the message then reinforced with text. Visual learning has long been an accepted method to reinforce ideas to focus meaning and organization. Comics represent information spatially and add an element of fun to the communication.

See What I Mean demonstrates how comics can be used to share a marketing message, explain a product concept, or to outline a use case to a design team. This book details how a few simple lines can communicate emotion, movement, and the passage of time. After reading the book and experimenting with the some drawing, I find myself eager to apply this knowledge.

The book contains detailed information about the comic creative process from planning to completion. This is an easy, fun, book to read. I would recommend it. The book does a good job of explaining how to create comics and use them successfully for communicating your message.

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy for review.
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Format: Paperback
It really doesn't matter who you are, your background, skills, or even interests. If you need to communicate, convince, document, tell stories, teach, or influence - this is an essential book.

Since each chapter starts with a comic strip summary, followed by more details and examples in text, Kevin Cheng exemplifies exactly what he preaches: "see what I mean".

I appreciate the sheer number and quality of the first-hand examples and stories in this book, told by someone who has been in the thick of it at places like Yahoo! and Twitter. If you want to have a sneak peek into how storytelling is such an essential skill to have in leading companies today, you've got to read this book just for that.

If you want to know how, this is also a book for you too. You will find a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to use comics in your own work. There are a number of suggestions along the way, so that you will find what suits you and your work place or project. Kevin also addresses objections and excuses that we will undoubtedly have in our heads. At the end of it, you will be convinced that you should and can do it yourself.

This book is simply inspiring.
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