New ideas present an interesting challenge: how do you describe something that doesn’t exist yet and is a change from what people are accustomed to seeing? Sketching, models and visualizations are all tools that designers use to communicate ideas, yet they often don’t express a key variable - time.
A recent solution LUNAR experimented with is video. This particular one, John Bond, is an investigation into storytelling that explores how an interface concept is used by people over time.
Storytelling helps place a new idea (how it works and what it does) within familiar situations. Viewers of Bond films can immediately relate to the interface’s intensions as John Bond cuts through file management, wayfinding and client-wooing, just like his counterpart in film cuts through chase scenes and bad guys.
Viewers are left with an understanding of the design and how it works from beginning to middle to end. And as designers we can talk about John Bond as a real person: “How does John’s assistant use this product to support him, let’s sketch that out,” iterating further ideas based on needs and desires. Cinematic storytelling is also a great way to introduce emotion into a concept, allowing clients or teammates to get jazzed up about an idea.
Storytelling may seem like extra work, but it’s important to understand how a design lives and connects with people over time.
-- Nick Hausman