Was Shakespeare a UX designer?
For over 400 years, his name, his plays and ‘his brand’ have been recognized and valued through space and time. It is so remarkable to see that his works have stood the test of time and are still regarded as not only classics in literature but also relevant pieces of art.
Shakespeare always seems to have something to say to us
See. It’s not just me, even Nelson Mandela thinks so. But what is it about his works that make them so relevant? Puzzled and curious, I took it upon myself to analyze the brand that is Shakespeare and understand what makes ‘his brand’ so unique and evergreen.
What’s up with his use of Language?
I have always loved Shakespeare and his trademark use of the Iambic Pentameter mostly because the archaism in it seems erudite. But also because I loved the thrill of reading it!
Last year, I ambitiously attempted to write an extension of a scene in his play ‘Macbeth’ using the infamous Iambic Pentameter. The extension is a soliloquy placed in Act 5 Scene 5 after Lady Macbeth dies and before the final battle between Macbeth and Macduff plus the English army.
It is one of my most prized writings. Behold, it’s a very amateur attempt at replicating Shakespeare’s language.
In order to emulate Shakespeare’s style, I incorporated pathos through literary devices like imagery, metaphors, and similes to show that he is confronting his real emotions; emotive diction was chosen to depict a depressing tone and show his grief; biblical allusion (Judas and the kiss of death) and hyperbole have been included along with the occasional anaphora and rhyme imply to his gradual descent into insanity; the universal theme of love and guilt have been used to make the work more relatable and as a tool to keep users engaged. Moreover, I have disrupted the flow of his thoughts to show that he is broken and is going mad.
As Shakespeare uses a lot of literary devices, I tried to do the same. This process made me realize that writing in Iambic Pentameter is hard. But most importantly, it is not the way that the text is written that makes his works remarkable, it is WHAT is written.
So, translated into design context: CONTENT before DESIGN.
Does it sometimes happen to you when you are so excited to tell someone a story that you skip out on some important things and don’t realize it? Is it just me? Oh well. It is quite a common occurrence especially when design is concerned. I’m sure we have all seen websites or designs that are not user-friendly primarily because of their poor UX design and weirdly structured information architecture.
So, through my attempts at designing websites and mobile apps, I have learned that planning and wireframing is the most important step and should be dealt with the utmost care and caution.
In conclusion, for all you designers out there: Design with a sense of unanimity in mind; discover what people have in common and what can they benefit from through your design. The secret to being evergreen is to accept humility and your humanity. So, design for yourself and the world will follow.
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