This video received the "Best Video Prototype" award in HCDE526 Video Prototyping class.

Grow Together

#VideoPrototyping #CaseStudy

Background

As the climate crisis continues to grow, individual responsibility for climate change has been critical to addressing this issue. To activate the individuals' actions toward a sustainable world, I brainstormed some ideas of how we could encourage them to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives. The design concept that I selected to prototype was Grow Together; A technology-driven product that enables users' plants to grow faster as they make sustainable choices. I created a video prototype to showcase and evaluate the concept in the early design phase as my final project for the HCDE 526 Video Prototyping class. My goal was to visually present the design idea and interaction of Grow Together through a video prototype rather than telling design ideas.

Duration

5 Weeks (Nov-Dec 2021)

Project Type

Course Project (Indivisual)

Role

Project Director, Editor

Tools

Adobe Premere Pro, Illustrator, Figma

Video Production Process

Film Production Process

Plan

Mood Board

I started off this project by brainstorming the vibe, look, and feel the video will convey. A mood board is a method that helps create a visual representation of what the aesthetic look and tone of the design would be by compiling a digital montage of images, colors, text blurbs, etc. To convey a dystopian and pessimistic nature of how human behavior is affecting the earth, I decided to use images of paper/plastic trash and packaging we produce every day, animals and nature threatened by the crisis, as well as some impactful and emotional texts - “no nature, no future."

Mood Board
Mood Board

Design Scenario

What helps the climate crisis might not be technology per se. It might be something simple but meaninful.

Problem Space

Making a contribution without rewards might not be exciting or stimulating for some people. We need to find ways that they can enjoy being a part of climate action by witnessing how much positive impact they have on our planet.

Opportunity

By making individuals' contributions more explicit and tangible, we could accelerate our progress towards climate action.

When / Where / Who

When: Near future, around 2030.
Where: home, cafe, anywhere in daily life
Who: Focus on people who produce paper coffee cup waste to make the context of the story easy to grasp

Overall Experience

At the starting point, while introducing the problem space, the audience's emotions will be neutral, sad, and frustrated. From the midpoint where Grow Together brings to life, the audience's experience will shift to fun, exciting, and motivational.

Development

Storyboard

After brainstorming the design idea, I created a storyboard to visualize how the video conveys each scene of the story.

Storyboard
Storyboard

Shot List

Along with the storyboard, I developed a full shot list of the video with information about each frame such as sound, dialogue, transitions, mood, etc. The combination of the storyboard and shot list helped me during shooting by informing me of every shot I needed to film in each location and how it should be filmed in detail.

Shotlist 1 Shotlist 2

Critiques & Revision

I had an in-class peer critique session in HCDE 526 class and received feedback on my storyboard and shot lists from 3 classmates as well as my professor. Here are some key design decisions that I made:

Trajectory

I mapped out the story in a way that it effectively took the audience to an emotional journey and kept the story fun and interesting. I utilized the three-act structure (context, problem, resolution) to increase the audience engagement and drive their emotions and actions.

Less is More

The beginning of the story was taking too long to show the context and problem space. This made the audience less engaged before introducing Grow Together as a solution. By minimizing the time to reveal the problem space and moving on to the solution more quickly, I was able to keep the audience's attention throughout the entire video.

Cuts and Transitions

I also found it crucial to employ the best cut and transition effects to enhance the story while keeping the audience engaged during a scene change. Especially, J-cut and L-cut effects were helpful to achieve smooth visual flow.

Pre-Production

Cast Recruitment

To create emotional connections with the target audience, I recruited a person who represents the demographic of the largest group of people who may be contributing to the climate crisis through packaging waste, paper/plastic coffee cup waste, etc.

Main Charactor

Tomomi

Age: 34
Occupatiion: Project Manager at a tech company
Family: Married, No kids

Background: Currenttly working from home, occasionally work from a cafe. Does online shopping a few time a week.

Location

One of the locations I chose for this video was U Village - a high-end shopping center located in Seattle as it is where the target audience is likely to come for shopping.

Film Props

Logo Design

I designed the Grow Together logo and crafted props using the logo.

Growing Plants

To show the plant grew very clearly, I decided to use three different plants that are similar kinds but in very different sizes to show the plant growing explicitly. I initially wanted to show how the plant gradually grew little by little, but I found that showing dramatic change was more effective for the audience to understand the point.

Film Props

Production

Video/Audio Recording

Based on the final storyboard and shot list that, I recorded all the video and audio using iPhone.

Post-Production

Visual Effects

To effectively translate the concept and have smooth communication with the audience, I kept the app interface and notification designs in the video simple, clean and consistent. It worked very well to help users quickly grasp how users make sustainable choices and connect the phone and the plant through the app.

App Interface Design

Grow Together Prototype

Notification Design

Grow Together Notification Grow Together Notification

Final Product

Video Prototype

Next Step

If I had more time, I'd improve the video by showing how Grow Together works as technology to make the idea more compelling. For example, I could elaborate on how sustainable choices made by users are converted to the plants' growth or show how the plants could grow faster more clearly.

Reflection

  • Video prototyping allowed me to reveal the problem spaces and explore the potential solutions explicitly.
  • “Less is more...” This phrase is one of the greatest takeaways from this project. A simple, short and clear story enabled me to convey the ideas and messages effectively, keep the audience engaged, and make a stronger impact on their emotions.
  • Utilizing visual elements to “show” ideas and messages was such a powerful skill for UX designers. It showed me how UX mindsets played a vital role in a video prototype production, as I examined what helped users easily navigate the story and understand how the product's interaction works in the most efficient way.