Space Art has helped me kick down a few creative doors within my brain, and one of the pleasant side effects over the last couple of years was my re-discovery of the joy of drawing cartoons. Funny pictures have always found their way into the sidelines of my scribbles in notebooks, and occasionally they’ve made their way into design presentations. I even went so far as to produce a comic strip years ago, during college, which racked up a respectable stack of rejection letters from all the major syndicates of the day.
This past summer while I was busy lining up another UX Design job, I stared pulling my characters from that old strip and put them into situations that I’ve encountered over the years as a designer in the software industry. At first I thought maybe I could generate a handful of funny quips that I’d publish here on my own personal site. Instead, I’d unleashed a firehose of pent-up frustration and incredulity that rapidly filled the last half of my little Moleskine notebook.
All of the insane stories of bad design decisions inflicted upon weary users by corporate machinations beyond mine or anyone’s control, the divisive politics and bad behavior, and the zoo-like trap that is the office environment of the 21st century, came flooding onto my page in the voices of my crazy little characters.
What blocked me 20 years ago from creating a fully realized strip was a lack of a voice. I had little to say about what was going on around me, it was all too new to me at the time. But now that’s all changed and I found that I had the tools right in front of me all these years to unleash that voice in all its sarcastic glory.
I even had a name already baked in, based on a formerly anonymous twitter handle that I sometimes used to broadcast little gripes and complaints about software design, @breakngfittslaw. “Breaking Fitts’s Law” aludes to Fitts’s Law, a rule that’s well known in the design community. It was a perfect match. With a few months of tweaking, I had my characters, an imaginary corporation called “Abattoir Technology” (abattoir, fittingly means “slaughterhouse” in French and sounds just annoying enough to be a dot.com of some sort).
On September 15th, I will be officially launching Breaking Fitts’s Law with updates twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. I’ve already assembled a short series introducing the characters and the concept, which begin here:
I invite you to drop by and check it out.