On this episode, Marcy Sutton and I talk about the importance of storytelling and how it relates to the Web field as well as speaking at conferences.
Chris: What is up boils and ghouls, and welcome to another episode of Tales from the Script, a podcast focused on front end web development, accessibility, performance, end user experience, with a little bit of horror mixed in. I'm your host, the script keeper, Chris DeMars. Today I have an amazing guest with me, reigning from the mountains of Bellingham, Washington, my good friend Marcy Sutton. What's up Marcy?
Marcy: Hello, what's happening?
Chris: Oh you know, just trying to get through this fall-ish, summer-ish weather in Michigan, and it's killing my sinuses beyond belief. I'm literally dying over here.
Marcy: Oh no.
Chris: Yeah, it's not good.
Marcy: Your own horror movie.
Chris: Yeah, oh, that would be a horror movie that'd sell for sure. For those unfamiliar, Marcy's one of the top influential people in the world of accessibility. For those viewers who may not be familiar with you and your work, where do you work and what do you do?
Marcy: I work at a company called Deque Systems on tools for web developers to help them make the web more accessible to people with disabilities. Browser extensions, APIs, and things to basically help point out to you if you mess something up for accessibility, how to fix it.
Chris: Awesome, awesome, yeah.
Marcy: That's what I do in a nutshell.
Chris: Sweet, yeah. I love Deque, I love that they have an office here locally, right outside of Detroit and Ann Arbor. I'm a full supporter of everything you do as well as all your team mates. Any [inaudible 00:01:50] I give on accessibility I always plug Deque or have Deque stickers, so I'm right there rooting along with you. Cool.
Marcy: Oh, thanks.
Chris: Yeah, no problem. You know I got your back. Today's episode, we're going to switch it up a little bit and we're not going to talk about accessibility. We're going to talk about story telling and how it relates to what we do as a front end developer and as a UI developer, myself, and as well as how that plays along with conference speaking. Storytelling, what is it? The dictionary version, it says that it's the activity of telling or writing stories, so if our storytelling ... Right, exactly.
Marcy: No way.
Chris: Oh that's not what we do, we don't do that any day. We just there to write code, right? This is something we do pretty much every day, depending on what type of situation we're in or what type of work environment we're in. What does storytelling mean to you in our industry, Marcy?
Marcy: Well for me it's about being able to articulate ideas in an entertaining way. My background is in journalism, visual journalism. Using visuals and photography to tell stories. Really the basis of storytelling to me is something that has a beginning, middle, and an end. This can come up in so many different ways in our jobs, either just presenting something to a client, or trying to figure out the discovery phase of a project, to doing a conference talk, to trying to delight your users with something you're building for them to put in front of them. It can come up in so many different ways. When I pivoted away from photojournalism because I wasn't really seeing any good job prospects, it didn't occur to me that those skills would really come in handy later in life. Yeah, that's what it means to me, is just trying to tell stories that are compelling, that they have a starting point and an ending point, and you take it along that story arc. It really comes up in so many different ways.
Chris: Yeah, I totally agree with you on that front. I've been doing web design development for a long, long time and relating that to storytelling and having user stories or personas ... I know that personas