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

Grow Together

Video Prototype
Case Study
  • Duration: 5 Weeks (Nov-Dec 2021)
  • Project Type: Indivisual
  • Role: Director, Editor
  • Tools: Adobe Premere Pro, Illustrator, Figma

Overview

As the climate crisis continues to grow, individual responsibility for climate change has been critical to address this issue. To activate the individuals' action toward a sustainable world, I brainstormed some ideas of how we might encourage them to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives and selected one concept to be prototyped; It's a technology-driven product - Grow Together. The main concept is that it enables users' plants to grow faster as they make more 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 is to visually present the design idea and interaction of Grow Together thorugh a video prototype rather than telling desgin ideas.

Video Production Process

Film Production Process

Plan

Mood Board

I started off this project with brainstorming the vibe, look, and feel the video will convey. A mood board is a method that helps create 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 very simple but meaninful.

Problem Space

Making a contribution without rewards doesn’t sound exciting nor stimulating for those who care less about environmental issues or for anyone. People are looking for ways that they can enjoy being a part of climate action by witnessing how much positive impact they have on the planet.

Opportunity

“The more sustainable choices you make, the more your plant will grow.” Grow Together will make it possible for users to see their contributions explicitly through tangible experience.

When / Where / Who

The story unfolds in the near future, 2030. While the climate crisis continues to grow, a city, house, or people’s routines look the same as today, but with Grow Together, their lifestyle looks a little brighter and healthier.

Overall Experience

At the starting point, while introducing the problem space, the audience's emotions will be neutral, sad, and frustrated. From the mid point 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 storyboard and shot list helped me during shooting by informing me 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 a 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 minimmizing the time to reveal the problem space and moving on to the solution more quickly, I was able to keep the audience's attention through out the entire video.

Cuts and Transitions

I also found it crucial to employ the best cut and transition effects to enhannce the story while keeing the audience engaged in the midst of a scene change. Especially, J-cut and L-cut effects were fulpful to achive smooth visual flow.

Pre-Production

Cast Recruitment

To create emotional connections with the target audience, I recruited a person who respresent the demographic of a largest group of people who may be contributing the climate crisis through packaging waste, paper/plustic 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 that I chose for this video was U Village - a high-end shopping center located in Seattle, WA. I chose this place as it is where the target audience like the main charactor of this video 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 commmunication with the audience, I kept the app interface and notification designs in the video simple, clean and consistent. I found it worked very well to hlep users quickly grasp the idea of how users make sustainable choices as well as 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 more about how Grow Toghether 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

  • I learned that video prototyping is one of the effective ways that allow us to reveal the problem spaces and explore the potential solutions. It allowed me to think a variety of innovative solutions by thinking outside of the box.
  • “Less is more...” This phrase is one of the greatest takeaways from this project. I realized that keeping a story simple, short and clear enables us to convey the ideas and messages more effectively, keep the audience engaged, and make a stronger impact on their emotions.
  • Utilizing visual elements to “show” the ideas and messages rather than telling/explaining them was challenging but I found it such a powerful skill for UX designers. It showed me how UX mindsets played an 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.