Telling Interactive Stories - At NYCUPA Event

28 Jan 2009 - 5:01pm
5 years ago
4 replies
589 reads
AlinutzaV
2009

I'm curious what everyone has to say about last night event at Bloomberg
with Andrew DeVigal. Was everyone aware of this stories on the The New
York Times?

Do you think newspapers readers understand how and what to click in
order to view and comprehend the stories as they are told?

I told my story here http://user-experience.iterating.net/

Alina

Comments

29 Jan 2009 - 8:04pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

Alina wrote:
> I'm curious what everyone has to say about last night event at
> Bloomberg with Andrew DeVigal. Was everyone aware of this stories on
> the The New York Times?
>
> Do you think newspapers readers understand how and what to click in
> order to view and comprehend the stories as they are told?

I was at the event, and I thought it was great to see how interaction
designers are, at the Times at least, considered to be "journalists"
through and through.

I wondered how it came to pass that the culture at the company managed
to embrace design professionals in the journalism world, rather than
seeing them as simply technicians who deliver content.

I had a great conversation afterwards with friends where we all
concluded that such thinking may not be so radical at all for some of
the best news and publishing organizations. We thought of the old
stories of delivery boys and printing press operators becoming editors
and publishers of newspapers. We thought about the tradition of
photojournalism. In light of this history of considering everyone on
the team a part of the storytelling mission, it's not so surprising
after all that the Times would view interactive experiences as great
ways to not just present stories, but to actually construct stories in
the first place the way journalists and writers of all sorts have
always done.

In fact, the surprising part to me was when I later thought about it
in reverse: how we in the interactive space rarely talk about
storytelling at all. In the IA and IxD worlds there is precious little
talk of the nuts and bolts methods and tools for telling stories,
about narrative and emotional arcs, about the who-what-when-where-why-
how of news, about the structures and methods of journalism. These are
usually relegated either to "content people" or to "marketing people",
and then they fall through the cracks of the core skills of our
professional practice. Even IxDs who work at interactive agencies are
too often the *recipients* of interactive narrative concepts initially
developed by ad executives several steps removed from the hands-on
interaction design world.

I wonder why this has been -- is it because the body of knowledge of
IxD is still haplessly rooted in HCI, and thus in technology, and thus
in a universe where we are indeed simply "technicians who deliver
content"?

Also, Alina: I have to say that your question ("Do you think
newspapers readers understand how and what to click...") may be a
little given that the vast majority of the readers of most news web
sites are not "newspaper" readers at all.

Cheers,
-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

29 Jan 2009 - 10:37pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Chris, I couldn't agree more (see people, I'm not a trolling
contrarian).

In fact, I have been teaching my students from the 1st breath of
class that what we do as interaction designers is create human
situated narratives that guide the communication of our designs.
Everything we do in projects is now either about research as fodder
for our stories, style approaches to our stories, or how we want to
tell our stories through the products, services and other artifacts
we design.

BTW, a great early example of this is Brenda Laurel's book called
Computers as Theater. But another generally great influence of all
this that we should do a better job of tapping into more is
interactive game design. "story telling" is their bread and butter
and they have been doing it arguably pretty well and pretty
consistently for quite a long time now.

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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2 Feb 2009 - 11:49pm
Elena Melendy
2008

Thanks for the plug for us content strategists, Chris. I don't
disagree with you--it can only help all of us who work in the
interactive space, no matter how we self-define, to talk more about
how we construct narratives. Speaking from a personal perspective,
though, I'd like to see the reverse happen: for "content people"
to be acknowledged not just as the providers of the raw material for
the "real" designers, and not just as wordsmiths and/or data
manipulators%u2014but as user experience professionals with the very
expertise you discuss, whose visual and structural capacity brings
them to this work, and whose collaboration on design exponentially
improves the interactive experience.

And just so you don't think I'm being entirely altruistic here
(ha!), please feel free to see my blog post about Andrew's
presentation at http://elenamelendy.com.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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3 Feb 2009 - 12:28am
DampeS8N
2008

I have to agree with Beetlejuice on this one. In both points.
Especially the one about game design. GD is my own background and
everything we do in our games is about building a narative with the
user. Personal stories, scripted stories, even abstract games like
bejeweled are all about something someone can be proud of and boast
about. In other words, a story.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=37828

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