The importance of story

When it comes to communicating with your audience, there is nothing more important than story.

Story is what we want, what we need.  Story is how our brains process, record, and retrieve information.  Data encoded in a story is much easier to understand and recall than a random stream of facts.  We lean in to a story.  When a story is on, we block out everything else.  Story is the trojan horse inside which your message rolls safely and effortlessly toward the audience.


All Rights Reserved
Christian Roman from Pixar tells a story about story at O’Reilly Design Conference.

Hadwin’s Judgement brings The Golden Spruce to Seattle

One of the more interesting stories of Northwest environmental activism is coming to the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle on February 27/28.

John Vaillant’s gripping 2006 book The Golden Spruce, which documents Canadian logger Grand Hadwin’s transformation from timber cruiser at industry giant MacMillan Bloedel to radical environmental activist fighting the deforestation of B.C., has been made into a film by Sasha Snow.  Hadwin’s Judgement has already racked up a shelf of awards since premiering at Banff in November.

The film is part of a mini Logger’s Delight series at Northwest Film Forum.

Watch the trailer

Film web site


When giants awaken | Adobe enters interactive prototyping market with Project Comet

If you’re a designer or product manager you’ve no doubt been enjoying the explosion of new interactive prototyping tools like Atomic, Principle, InVision, and Axure in recent years.  All of these products make it easy to rapidly prototype and share interactive designs for any screen size.

In the old days, we used static wireframing in tools like Photoshop or Visio.  To convey the concepts of motion and interaction, which were crucial to how the final product would work for users, we had to notate a lot and show a storyboard of states: “Click this here, and this happens next over here.”  While this approach worked, it could be unwieldy for lots of different screens.  And it never gave you the actual experience being designed.  We were still working in flatland, and you had to imagine how the final app or site would actually feel.

Adobe Project Comet

Oregon Shakespeare Festival raises the curtain on 2016

In just a few weeks, one of America’s great theatres kicks off its new season.  Oregon Shakespeare Festival, located way down in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, may be in the middle of nowhere geographically.  But it’s really like midtown Manhattan considering the impact this long-running gem has on the entire American theatre ecosystem.  OSF is great stuff, and a visit to Ashland is unlike almost any other artistic experience you’ll ever have.

I love taking photos when I visit OSF, and this year I was lucky enough to have two of my images featured in the 2016 season catalog.  If you’re on the OSF mailing list, keep an eye out for pages 4 and 31.  If you’ve seen any of my photos before, you know I like the long exposure night shot.  And that’s what they’ve selected here.

Thanks, OSF – for the chance to share some of the beauty and drama that is OSF!