Comic Circuit is an online community where people create and read news articles in the form of comics. As the project lead, I interviewed professional cartoonists, designed each iteration of the site, coded the prototype, and made the poster for the competition.
Comic Circuit is an online community where people create and read news articles in the form of comics.
For years, history was my least favorite subject. I memorized dates and people but did not understand their significance. Many of my classmates shared the same disconnect.
Surprisingly, weaving information into comic strips made historical and current events much more exciting to me. Things began to make sense because the visual medium presents information as stories and puts everything in context. Better yet, I was not the only person who benefitted from my current events comics - when I posted them online, many of my friends read them all and asked for more.
The goal of Comic Circuit is to encourage people to easily create and share comics that are based on current events. I envision it to be a dynamic network of visual news consumers and creators, each of whom can gain new perspectives from learning about the past and the present.
When I came to CMU to study HCI, I proposed the idea of Comic Circuit to many people, including Steven Dow, a HCI faculty who specializes in creative crowdsourcing. The idea sparked interest, and soon I was joined by four other MHCI students to collaborate on this project. Steven agreed to be our faculty mentor.
The next eight months were spent immersing ourselves in a unique design processes that included expert interviews, crowd experiments, multi-fidelity design, and iterative user testing.
Our hardwork paid off when Comic Circuit was selected as one of the top 11 student teams in the world for the CHI 2013 Student Design Competition. In April, we flew to Paris and had the honor of presenting our poster to CHI attendees, even piquing the interest of Jakob Nielsen!
I had the chance to reflect on my Comic Circuit experience after CHI. Here are some of the lessons that I learned:
Most importantly, I learned that Comic Circuit has the potential to reinvent the way education is presented to students, so that history just might become the most popular subject for future students like me.