Who is the user? User experience design in i-docs

14 Feb

user experience map

Our previous question in the UX Series was: what is purpose in an i-doc? Purpose is important because it encapsulate, hopefully in one sentence, the shift that we want the user to have while going through our interactive experience. Purpose is NOT our own reason to produce a story, but rather the effect we want it to have on the user (the two are not necessarily the same).

So, once we have formulated our purpose, the next question surely is: who is our user?

For having participated to a lot of creative brainstorms, I know that the most immediate answer to this question is: my users are the people interested in “…” (the topic of the film or i-doc). WRONG!!!! You don’t design for the people that you own already… but for those you want to attract! And it gets more complicated when you have a primary audience and a secondary one (sometimes a third too!)…

Second issue – especially for people that are coming from film & documentary: an interactive documentary is NOT an edited story, but a designed user journey. The aim is the same, to keep the audience’s interest high, but the tools are different: no narrative arch, no character progression and probably little, or short, catharsis… here we are playing with agency, emotional incentives & rewards and action points.

This is how Jamie Balliu starts his answer to question 4 in the UX Series: by explaining how different the tools are… watch his answer

You will also be able to see Miranda Mulligan‘s reply to Jamie Balliu. Miranda is Executive director @ Northwestern University Knight Lab,  she is a journalist, photographer and a designer by profession and she trains e-journalists to place the user experience at the center of their creative process…

And don’t be shy: contribute to the discussion, and add your point of view! Just mail me: theuxseries@gmail.com with your own hangout on the topic, or your own research…

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