I recently was honored to have some time with the Esteemed Bill Moggridge, co-Founder of IDEO, author/editor of Designing Interactions, designer of the first laptop and the person who coined the phrase “interaction design”. Let’s just say I was a tad faklempt at the honor.
Unfortunately, I can’t go into right now all that we talked about with him and esteem design educator Norman McNally, but what was great was to have this luminary affirm much of my thinking about the theory, practice & history of interaction design. One such item was the growing if not new requirement in prototyping–videography.
Video has a prototyping tool has come of age in the age of YouTube & Vimeo. At first it was a means of expressing that which has been built as a sorta of record of the moment, or a demo. We’d see these all the time.
Here is one from an HCI research group with a new paradigm in desktop management called Bumptop:
Then IDEO jumped the shark with its work for Intel on new paradigms in pervasive and mobile computing:
The folks at Nokia turned video into a means of expressing things in the sci-fi realm:
Combining the sci-fi and the completed demo with a step backwards in some ways was Oblong:
But then others joined in with IDEO to express ideas instead of prototypes, where the videography like the IDEO example presented something not completed, but merely illustrated with smoke & mirrors (or green screens and editing).
Low-fi versions like Cooper’s Drawing Board’s Commuter Buddy demonstrate how cheap and effective this can be:
The folks at Adaptive Path did a tremendous job with their video demonstrating new desktop & mobile forms of web browsing technology & behaviors:
Obviously, I can’t keep going like this right? The point is made that videos have a ton of power. But the examples I have given so far are mostly interaction designs embodied in the software. But where video prototyping is really powerful is with hardware interactions, and technologies that don’t really exist yet. Or in explorations of the theoretical.
A long time example of this type of use is the work by Tony Dune and Fiona Raby from the Royal College of Art’s Design Interactions program. Here is a still from the video (that I can’t find).
And this entire post was inspired by the most recent work from my favoriate Norwegian IxD researchers from Touch.org working on the study of NFCs. Their latest prototype uses this same type of experimentation in between the smoke & mirrors of videography using an iPhone and a supposed RFID add on (available in the future.
But why all the video? Would storyboards do?
I don’t think so. Despite the fact that sequential art is well sequential there is a property to the type of sequencing that exists in comic form that lacks a fundamental reality. Sometimes this abstraction works in the favor of clearer communication, but that is rare and usually in the hands of a trained professional comic artist. The videos though of all these types communicate with clarity in that 4th dimension of time. These stories insert themselves and force a type of reflection that other forms of none production prototyping do not.
So break out the camera and after-effects and get to work!