Video prototyping overview….which ended up quite long!

Last week we were focusing on using video as a means of prototyping a concept. After our introductory exercises we were given a loose concept for a service called ‘Keyless’ This service was for people that often loose or forget there keys…over the course of 3 days we were to develop the idea considering aspects like how the service would work (back and front end) various situations and scenarios, security issues, authorization, logistics,convenience, and of course the user experience as a whole.

After developing our idea and knowing how we wanted to portray our service the next step was to storyboard it….the keys steps to follow were:

  1. write down what you want to do
  2. build a character sketch in 1t person
  3. write a story from a 3rd person perspective
  4. create a breakdown of your shots
  5. make a rough storyboard
  6. rehearse and time storyboard
  7. make final storyboard andĀ  FOLLOW IT!

The first concept video we filmed and edited for our ‘keyless’ service was low fidelity and low resolution. We used paper based props which were quick and dirty, this provided the right blend on knowing what was going on, yet eager to learn more about the service…

paper based mobile phone interface

‘KeyLess’ welcome pack prop

card swipe prop

When we had created our first low Fidelity/resolution video we were then able to see where there were holes in our service concept, as well as seeing where unnecessary frames could be cut out and better shots could be used. We used this learning to cut our story boards down to a maximum of 12 key frames and set about creating a high fidelity/resolution version of our video prototypes. For this we created far more realistic touchpoints, using existing products and hacking old ones to create an experience that would be as close to the real one as possible. Unfortunately i can’t upload my video at the moment as the file is too big but i will make a note to compress it or upload it somewhere else on the web. Some shots form the film though…..

Emergence scene-hearing about keyless through a friend

registering with keyless online

Keyless welcome pack prop

mobile phone interface-message from ‘keyless’

At the end of our week we finished with open crits to discuss our work. It was great to get positive feedback as well as constructive criticism. Some of the key point to emerge form these discussions were;

  • When you are video prototyping don’t try to do too much, create something within in your time frame, focus on one area.
  • outdoor shots are better due to the natural source of light-so where possible shoot outside!
  • make it feel as real as possible, remember the little details that make an experience special
  • lets the props tell the story
  • make good touchpoints
  • focus on one aspect of your service for a specific audience and make it super good and convincing!
  • video prototypes are always good for finding wholes in your service
  • be as prepared as possible for showing your video in different environments it can often look very different in different lights or projections to what it does on screen.
  • don’t use music that over powers the video and takes away form the concept
  • use as little text as possible
  • always use a context shot then a close up for important scenes.

Also while i am here…..2 great papers really worth reading:

“Experience Prototyping” by Marion Buchenau and Jane Fulton Suri

“What do prototypes prototype” by Stephanie Houde and Charles Hill

All in all a great week!!A really brilliant course taught by Vinay and Alex!

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