Gene Lu's Portfolio

Shooting a Live User Journey

As you might have noticed, I usually do my user journeys in sketches, but being that this is my last one in grad school, why not attempt a live one? The following story is a rough version where I tested and played around with different stories, camera angles, use of props, music, and so on.

Before diving into the video, here’s a quick overview of what the video is about:

Buckskin Bob is a modern day mountain man, living in New York City. He invites us to relieve with him, some of his favorite moments and locations in Story Forest. During his tour, he accomplishes the following:

  1. Relieves previous moments (photos, audio) by accessing Story Trees at various locations
  2. Uses the Augmented Forest feature to find his way around Story Forest
  3. Uses the Compass feature when he’s within close vicinity of a Story Tree
  4. Captures a moment (inputting a moment into a Story Tree)

Before heading out to shoot footage for the user journey, I did some tests at home to get an idea as to how all of this would work.

I also worked on storyboard sketches, which captures Bob’s tour through the city.

Bob the Mountain Man giving us a tour of his Story Forest

Bob the Mountain Man giving us a tour of his Story Forest

Note: All iPhone screens seen in the video are not final. They are just placeholders.

After pulling together all the video bits and pieces, I’m already planning on a second and hopefully final video shoot by end of Friday. To get the point across within a short amount of time, the story line will be aligned to a common theme (refer to Lessons Learned below).

Story Tree prop made out of a pole, cardboard paper, duct tape, and foam core.

Story Tree prop made out of a pole, cardboard paper, duct tape, and foam core.

Foam core base maintained the tree's balance while keeping the prop relatively light

Foam core base maintained the tree's balance while keeping the prop relatively light

Thanks
I’d like to thank my roommate, Dave (who has also participated in previous prototypes) for playing the role of Buckshot Bob and for traveling to the extreme ends of New York City to shoot this thing. And also, thanks to David Hou for letting me borrow his Rebel T2i and Derek Chan for the tripod. These two things together make magic.

Lessons Learned

  • The most interesting sequence is the last part where our friend Buckshot Bob relives his experience with his companion leaving his side at Grand Central Station.
  • Since I’m trying to keep this video down to at most 2:00, there needs to be a common thread that weaves through all three story points in order to get the point acros (refer to first bullet point).
  • As mentioned by Liz Danzico (the Chair of our program), try to do all the explaining of the details/workings/etc. at the beginning. For example, the part where Buckshot Bob pulls a leaf off the tree and views the individual memory via iPhone gets a bit tedious and repetitive. Instead, do it once at the beginning and the remaining memory accesses will be implied.
  • Filming user journeys require a lot of planning! I never realized how important it was to film a scene in a specific sequence so that all shots aligned with each other, especially when doing cuts later on. How detailed you ask? It’s like explaining to a robot how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, step by step.

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  • 12 Apr 2011

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