Problem: In what form should the information be displayed to the user?
Notes: [ Unfinished. I think this is a very important pattern to understand, but I don't understand it yet. Natural language has wonderful, subtle gradations of meaning and emphasis that raw data can't have. How do we decide it's best to, say, give a weather report in a narrative form, rather than as a table? I suspect that some factors are: memorability, subjectivity and biased interpretation (which is not always a bad thing), effort required to absorb and understand the information. ...Maybe we should turn the question around, and ask when we should NOT use narrative, since narrative is the default way that we humans communicate. ]
Random other notes...
Storytelling is a huge part of this pattern, but it's really outside the scope of this pattern language
Narrative is declarative, where Step-by-Step Instructions is imperative; both use natural language
Brenda Laurel's quote on the use of narrative in an interactive artifact: "Narrative includes both the story being told (content) and the conditions of its telling (structure and context). ... Within that [narrative] framework, interface designers can adopt strategies from narrative theory, such as including multiple representations of events and information, or using characters as a means of representing material with an explicitly acknowledged point of view." (pg. 182 in my copy)
Give two examples: an image from The Weather Channel's daily weather report (tabular data and icons), and a cut-and-paste from the Mass. weather site (narrative).
Howard Wainer talks about senselining. Strunk & White talks
about good writing. Nielsen talks about writing for Web pages.
Who talks about colors and fonts and whitespace?...
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