On the weekend I went to the Pixar - 20 years of animation exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square Melbourne and I saw an amazing series of still images, paintings, slides, animations, sculpture and a zeotrope (worth going just to see this).
What stuck out was the use of story cards and mock ups to get ideas across before starting more involved processes and I think the same approach can be used in our software development work, particularly in prototyping the UI. I don’t mean drawing a single page of the UI on a piece of paper but the progression of the UI from one state to another in response to user interaction. After all, the UI tells a story and shapes the personality of the application and no one brings characters to life like Pixar, so we can learn a lot from them.
So what is so Agile about this?
The fact that you can and should use the story board, light weight prototypes and other models to get ideas down before moving on with more involved processes. A quote at the exhibition said it all:
Making any of our films requires getting all of the creative people together. We all hold hands and jump out of the aeroplane, and we make the parachute on the way down. - Oren Jacob (as quoted by Ralph Eggleston).