the UX Series

The UX Series is a collaborative research project about UX in i-docs.

The point is the following: if we want users to engage in our i-docs we need to work with them from the beginning. This does not mean giving them the full control of our stories, but starting a dialogue that can forge our decisions and design so that the result is inclusive and immersive. With the UX Series I want to question how/if using UX design methodologies could help us produce better interactive factual narratives.

I came up with 7 questions that summarise the main issues we are facing when creating an i-doc. Each sets of answers will be released separately, aiming to cover them all by March 20th (the first day the i-Docs 2014 conference that I co-organize with the DCRC).

The 7 Questions:

1. What would it mean to apply design thinking to the creation of i-docs?

2. What can we learn from game design?

3. Purpose: what is purpose in an i-doc and how can we communicate it?

4. The user: who do we design for and how to design an emotional journey?

5. Rapid prototyping and testing: what to test for, and when, in i-doc production?

6. The interface: what is its role in an i-doc?

7. How do we understand and measure the impact of an i-doc?


The Format

There are 7  questions.

I interviewed one person for each question (making sure that their approach is coming from a Design Thinking prospective).

Each interview is a max of 7 min long (just enough for you to be inspired without giving it too much of your time).

 Then what?

For each reply I have asked someone from the industry (i-doc production) to answer back. Hopefully this will start an online dialogue around each question.

You are welcomed to contact me if you want to be interviewed, or if you want to add anything.

You can also send me papers, references, or any document that is related to those questions and I will post them. Just contact me on

More on my thinking:

How is it possible that none of my friends (friends, not colleagues) can recall liking, or even experiencing, an i-doc? Even the most talked about projects – as the NFB ones – seem to be for the happy few (a growing community, but still a niche one)? Is there something that we are missing here?

My assumption is that we have forgotten the user. We speak about him/er, but we do not design with/for him/er.

Fifteen years of User Centred Design have served the web well. No serious website is conceived nowadays without building personas, thinking of users’ needs and prototyping interfaces. Why should it be different in interactive narrative? Is it the fear of loosing creativity and authorship that is stopping us? Or maybe interactive narratives are different. Maybe they are not to be “used” so we are not to test the users…

It is with this questions in mind that I am starting the UX Series:  User Experience in factual interactive narratives. The aim is to reveal, or conceive together, the UX processes that could help our i-docs reach a larger audience. At the moment we are all cooking in our own kitchens, my hope is that by opening up our recipes to each others new flavors can be invented!

This is a space to question, share point of views… and invent together.

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