Video Prototyping: Peco

Utilize different fidelities of video prototype to communicate a concept design idea.

Challenges:  experiment design, video directing, acting, special effect creation
Tools:  Movie maker, Illustrator, Flash, a digital camera, paper, scissors and sticky tape
Deliverables:  two video prototypes, a final report
Notes:  A scientific paper on the study “On the effect of visual refinement upon user feedback in the context of video prototyping” has been accepted for 29th ACM SIGDOC Design of Communication conference. Currently in press.

Video prototypes can be a great tool for showing conceptual interaction that would be too hard to communicate in another way. However, creating a video can quickly become an expensive exercise, especially if there a lot of “special effects” that are required, but can a low fidelity video convey the same message as a complete high fidelity one?

To answer this question, we tested the premise whether the same level of interaction can be presented if the product shown in video is kept simple. We created a cardboard version of eco-friendly printer, and filmed a 3-minute video of how it would be used in the office. Then we created another version of the video, keeping the interaction the same, but spending much more time on creating realistic looking interfaces and using an actual office printer posing as our imagined eco-friendly one.

We showed both videos to several participants and utilized user research methods to extract comment on interface, perceived feasibility and usability. As a result, no difference was found in amount and content of comments received for both videos.

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