Recently, I was tasked to put together a document to explain the provisioning process for interdepartmental site creation (creating sub-sites in a SharePoint Publishing Site).  This document was to be a quick guide for site requestors to understand the process and provide guidelines.

To begin, I reviewed the notes of the meeting and started to doodle on a tabloid sized paper.  The doodles were ideas I wanted to convey.  I thought of all the commonly asked questions and wanted to come up with a way to answer them using diagrams, icons and images.

As I sat back and gazed at all the nonsense I scribbled, I thought, “how can I put all of this in a single document WITHOUT it becoming a 20-pager that people would just gloss over?”  The answer was pretty simple.  I would keep everything on one page – the same tabloid sized page that I was using for my doodles.  But I still had a story to tell so the comic approach kept on jumping out at me as the way to go.

So I began with creating my characters (if you can call them characters, 3 user icons) in Photoshop.

Once I had the characters, everything just took off from there.  I already had the concepts floating in my head for months so now it was just a matter of crystallizing them onto Visio.  I created one panel after the next using my doodles as the source material.

Comic Style Process Dcoument for Requesting Site

Click to Enlarge

In the diagram, I am represented by the geek squad-esque icon and the site requester is in green.  What I like about the material is how it shows ownership/responsibility with the site requester.  This is sometimes a difficult feat as users tend to assume you’ll be doing everything for them.


I hope to create more of these in the future.