CIID 09/10: Video Prototyping

Shot in Low-Fi, Low-Res

For the first of the skills courses that make up the initial chunk of the CIID curriculum, we were introduced to video prototyping by Vinay.

First we had some basic lectures and introductions, on both technical aspects and also more strategic about the use of video in design, and different techniques to achieve certain effects, responses, and feedback. The bulk of the week was taken up by a brief which was split in two parts. It involved an outline of a fictional service called Energise, which focused on encouraging/persuading/inducing users to save energy. In less than a day, we were asked to storyboard, shoot, and edit a very rough, low resolution and low fidelity video sketch describing this service (which we fleshed out, in pairs, resulting in 10 similar but slightly different concepts). Following a thorough crit of these initial videos, we then had a day and a half to craft a higher fidelity, higher resolution video prototype of the same service: tighter storyline, refined acting, better camera work, more developed props, and some on-location shooting instead of props where possible.

The week was my first time working with video; despite loving my (still, SLR) camera, I’ve never ventured into moving images – compatibility issues, lack of hardware, and enjoying the constraint of having to capture a moment in a static image. So, for my first attempt (drumroll)…
Together with Filoppo, this is what we came up with. First, low-fi, then higher-fidelity.

The aim was not necessarily to create the best, most effective, or most innovative service, but to communicate most clearly whatever service it was that we had come up with – this was a class on how to use video, not designing services (that comes later in the year). Nonetheless, it was interesting to see what different groups presented, and to note certain trends that emerged in the class. A couple of groups created some kind of tangible representation of energy, the idea being that self-reflection would help change behavior. A recurrent theme was some kind of usage limit imposed via a meter – several videos showed energy running out, lights cutting off, pre-paid limits etc, which I found interesting – in many ways that’s going back to old coin-operated meters, where the act of paying itself prompted thought on usage patterns. Variations of data visualisation came up several times, too, as did different ways of presenting tips on minimising usage.

It would have been nice to spend more time on the service-design aspect of the project, thinking more about different approaches (Dan’s Design with Intent toolkit would have been handy!) but as we were repeatedly reminded, that wasn’t really the point here. What we certainly did do was jump into video making in the deep end, and create some amazingly varied work – all of which, I thought, was surprisingly good, especially considering that just over half the class had, like me, no experience at all of video, film, or motion graphics. I’m looking forward to applying what we learnt to a project where the concept and the thinking got the same amount of attention.

A couple of other examples that have made it online:

Ishac and Eric: (low) and (high)

Martina and Jacek: (low) and (high)

Laura and Ulrik: (high)

Jennifer and Shruti: (low) and (high)

← Back to the latest posts