Before we get into the details of video prototyping, let’s look at the bigger question: why should we prototype? In the screen-based world, there are generally three stages of prototyping and they each answer very specific questions and seek specific outcomes to help push a project forward. The low, medium, and high fidelity prototypes respectively define what, how, and if we’re ready to go, or does this actually work? They range from pencil and paper, to visual click-throughs with keynote, Invision, or Axure, to fully or partially developed systems. The prototype is the bridge from the abstract to the concrete.
Statistically, over 51% of traffic on the internet is spent streaming video, and our devices are excellent conduits for spending two minutes watching a fail video, vines, or a prototype of a new service, application, or product. In addition, the moving image is a powerful reflection of the narrative and sequential nature of life. We live sequentially and as we develop new technologies and proliferate the everyday with new sensors; we as user experience and interaction designers will need to communicate our solutions and speculations. As we develop more novel methods of interaction we will require new modes of visual storytelling and communication.
Video prototypes are excellent for capturing gestures, showing a task flow, users fulfilling goals, and user journeys. Video can be used to communicate simultaneous, sequential, or asynchronous events, and simulate micro to macro interactions. They are excellent in defining the many contexts, and various personas for a project. Finally, video encapsulates everything under the domain of prototyping which includes: paper prototypes, click-throughs, working prototypes built with Axure, HTML, Swift and so on.
Very special thanks to Marcus Guttenplan for executing the video and collaborating on the interactions. See Marcus’s website.