Social Science Storytelling
As I’ve mentioned ad nauseum here on this site, and also when I am speaking on a stage about Ethnographic Animation, I am bound by NDAs with super, fantastic, and inspiring clients of ours here at ADi. That means that I am limited in what I can share with audiences regarding examples that we have produced of an EA. But, finally, I can share this.
This EA is quick in length, but impactful in what you are seeing. This animation shows a woman getting ready to vacuum.
- You know she’s in a home, but you’re not distracted by the details of the home.
- She IS a she, but you’re not distracted by the rest of her demographic; this experience could be taking place just about anywhere in the world.
- You’re paying attention to the product that she is interacting with; it helps that the vacuum is ‘rendered’ slightly differently than the rest of the environment – it stands out a bit, and neurologically this helps your eye follow it.
As a viewer of this animation, those facts above are registered in your brain in a quick moment. What you are actively paying attention to, though, is the experience that this woman is having and specifically you are seeing how she
1) Carries the vacuum
2) Turns the vacuum on
3) How she holds the vacuum handle
The animation, obviously, shows a few alternatives of these actions.
The animation itself, now, has become the prototype for development of the vacuum product. It looks like sometimes the handle is used to pick up the vacuum. Sometimes it isnt. Oh, look, the vacuum is turned on one time by the woman using her foot. Is she gripping the handle of the vacuum when she pushes it – or is she actually gripping the piece of the vacuum that was designed for the powercord to loop around.
The field data used for these examples of this user experience now gives a fact-based base to develop from. If you know that this is how your consumers are interacting with your product now, what would you do in your design of the next iteration of the product? Now that you see the visual of this experience, let’s test – within the animation itself – what the weight differential might be if we moved the handle of the vacuum to a different location, since we can use real-world physics in 3D animation. Let’s modify the product in this ‘world’ –and test the impact of that change on the user depicted in the animation– before we make rapid prototypes for the real world. Let’s test and visualize, let’s hypothesize and demonstrate, let’s dream and establish experiences that are founded in social and practical science. Let’s have a faster time to market with greater assurance that we’re getting it right the first time we touch the actual product to our real-world hands.