Making up Stories: Perception, Language, and the Web

by Elizabeth McGuane / Randall Snare

10 Reader Comments

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  1. Such a fantastic post. Dickens AND Chomsky. I must leave this tab open and reread; too much to digest. I, alas, cannot rely on inference in my daily interaction with my SO. He was raised by hoarding wolves, and chooses not to put anything together on his own. The endless questions are maddening. I guess you touched a nerve here. I can’t wait to link to it in my Sunday post. Thank you,
    Sidney
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  2. Dickens left readers hanging and left certain questions unanswered, and as a result created huge buzz between installments of his novels. The mind craves completeness and will fill in the gaps around the framework story provides. Brilliant post.
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  3. This is brilliant! You weave together references and tactics that make so much sense for what we do (in this Modern Day Publishing Web Craziness) on both visual and verbal levels. I think your comments about breaking the old paradigms of page-level modules are especially exciting: bq. When web content doesn’t embrace its modularity, we end up with siloed pages that repeat the same content, footnotes, taglines, and asides over and over and over again. Modular content chunks are key if we want to enable fluid repackaging of content for multiple devices, screens, and contexts. It’s challenging to tell a story to a mobile audience, but not impossible; just see carnival barkers and exhibit designers. These storytelling techniques are key in helping us support mobile web expectations.
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  4. Writing is a skill that I do not possess. I want to have the skills to create rich content for my clients, but struggle with what needs to be said or how to say it. Writing is an art because it requires skills that not everyone can master, like a good painter, or graphic artist. Great read, Thank you.
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  5. Thanks for all your comments - wilowske, I love your phrase ‘the mind craves completeness’. And really interesting thoughts about mobile, Margot (makes me think of the web as a giant circus). It seems like so much attention is paid to just getting attention online, without as much on how the story grows from there. Lots to think about.
    - Elizabeth
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  6. Dickens left readers hanging and left certain questions unanswered, and as a result created huge buzz between installments of his novels. The mind craves completeness and will fill in the gaps around the framework story provides.
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  7. i am beginning to realize how important it is “¨”¨as a designer to provide enough room for the readers or viewers to interpret, analyze, and “fill in the gaps”
    this makes the work (such as stories, movies, or websites) lot more interesting and intriguing.
    isnt it our job as designers to inspire and ignite the user’s imagination? great article!
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  8. Never read as much Dickens as I probably should have. Writing is a lifelong craft that improves unconsciously before our eyes. Kind of like reading books upon books boosts your vocabulary although you don’t notice it.
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  9. Storytelling is so important to being human—even if we don’t consciously interpret our interactions as being part of a storytelling experience, they absolutely are. I’ve found that the industries that are most difficult for me to create engaging content in are those where I know the least about the “stories” of the company’s owners and clients. And this goes beyond creating a mental avatar for the consumer; it’s about understanding how to enter into a narrative and create something that people recognize and that is unique at the same time.
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  10. For us, making the perfect story lining is very important. Readers always recognize the creative writings.
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