General Assembly Project 1 Introspective - Pascal Saint-Clair
The Movie Going Experience
My initial idea was to create a service that delivered hard to find vintage films to customers who desired these older movies. The format for these features would be distributed as streaming, dvd or blu ray. After some discussions with the instructors, this topic was determined to be too personal of an interest and that a broader subject geared towards a public concern would be ideal — still connected with the film concept, but not so attached to my own needs. The movie experience as a whole, good or bad, became a subject to research. Eventually I decided to address problems that people found to be reasons that prevented them from going to see films at venues. These causes were primarily listed as a price described as being too high to justify the services rendered. Furthermore, the home film viewing experience was described as being much more comfortable and hassle free.
Users want the comfort of the movie experience at home reproduced at the theatre but barriers such as the cost of tickets, parking and food are deterring them from seeking the theatre experience.
To attempt to combine the comfort of the home viewing film experience with the theatre situation.
Method and Information
I interviewed three people on their theatre viewing experience.
Interviewees Brienne and Ryan reported that they seldom went to see films at venues. Reasons they cited as deterrents were the high cost of food, parking and tickets. Brienne added to the issue of price of food the inability to bring personal meals as well as a dislike for the products available on theatre menus. Ryan listed having to experience large crowds in two different aspects: he described people who were at the venues not to see films but to simply hang around at the complex. The other occurrence he described was having to face long wait lines. The fear of these lines forced Brienne to show up at her venue long before the film started. Brienne also added that the high price of tickets did not justify the theatre experience; to her viewing a film in this environment is an event of minimal quality considering such high prices. The third interviewee, Maria went to see films seven times within the last year and would have done more viewing if not for a circumstance in her life. The only negative aspect she listed occurred at one outing when an unforeseen change in the seating arrangement was organized at one of her preferred venues: this theatre now only allowed pre-arranged assigned seating in all of the complex’s auditoriums. When Maria arrived there, only front seats were available, offering an unpleasant viewing experience (to her). Maria had an elaborate list of motivators for attending movies beginning with her background in video production as well as her interests in independent films. She prefers movies with thought provoking themes, good writing as well as good acting. Furthermore, she sometimes sees more mainstream movies in order to entertain her son. For Brienne, the motivations to see one of the two films she experienced within the last six months was as a result of wanting to see a feature that starred an actor she likes to see onscreen. Also, this film appeared interesting in its tv ads and would be a topic of discussions with friends. She describes that she saw the other film, “Into the Woods,” only because she was visiting her mother at home and an activity was needed. Ryan mentioned that the last trip to the theatre was heavily motivated by a gift card which covered parking, food in addition to tickets.
Process and solution
An extensive discussion occurred with the instructors as the chosen topic seemed too broad at the beginning of the project. Once the subject was changed to the general film viewing experience, interviewees were simply asked to extensively describe their film outing experience. They were not asked if they enjoyed going to see films or not, just to give an account of their outings. Patterns of concerns were detected from the information gathered between the first two interviews, and they were mostly rooted with comfort and money. The first affinity map was organized with several sections. One segment was deterrents against seeing films with the subsections of high cost of money, cost of parking, and cost of food. On the other hand, another section listed motivations to see films that included viewings as an activity to do with various family members, gift cards, and wanting to see a film that would be a topic of discussion with friends. After a lengthy discussion with the instructors the map was rearranged into the following:
Different categories were created to group similar complaints, same complaints or praises of the movie going experience. For example notes describing the topic of high ticket prices were grouped together, the parking difficulties (price, over populated parking lots) were put together and good reports of outings like a quiet auditorium audience and easy exiting of parking lots were assembled. The initial service I created was designed to make everything involving the movie experience comfortable; from transportation from home to the theatre to being lead to the assigned seats. If desired, a car service was available, valets drivers were available, and food was prepared and served. For any transportation option used to the get to the theatre (self driving or car service) ushers greeted customers at the front of the venue and took customers to their pre-arranged seats. The design of this model was effectively done using Adobe Illustrator with its precision tools and my ability to move and duplicate userflow components quickly:
This solution, though effective in making the theatre experience extremely comfortable, did not address the financial issues listed in the first interviews: this service was an added cost. After further discussions with the instructors, a more effective set of solutions was created keeping in mind this pricing issue. The problem of cost of parking can be described as already being solved with some venues offering parking validation. The high price of food is solved with the ability, with my proposed service, for customers to bring in outside food into the theatres, weather from home or picked up on the way. I introduced the available shuttle bus for clients who are forced to park at uncomfortable distances away from a theatre’s entrance. Also, rooms and daycare are available for children who are in the company of adults who will then view their film at an adjacent auditorium in the complex. This feature is ideal when parents are watching films that are not appropriate for younger viewers. The implementation of these services does not result with higher prices for tickets or any other items at the venues. The following storyboards were created and presented:
The introduction of the theatre going experience as a topic
The introduction three topics that are of high price according to two of the three interviewees
The declaration of problem statement
The declaration of problem design direction
The introduction of the fictional Smith family
The family driving to the theatre
The Smiths stop at a restaurant of their choice to buy food at a cheaper price than the products offered at the film venue; here it is McDonalds’
At the venue’s parking lot, that are is practically filled with cars. The family is forced to park at an uncomfortable distance from the theatre’s entrance.
The available shuttle bus picks the family members up and brings them to the venue.
The Smiths disembark
The parents separate from the kids
The parents watch their film, in this case a film that is not appropriate for children
The children are in the kids’ room, watching cartoons and/or playing
The family is being driven back to their car with the use of the shuttle bus
The Smiths are returning home
The introduction of the fictional family
Topic of Choice
The topic of watching movies is of personal significance to me due to my high interest in films, especially stories with a supernatural context. Furthermore, being a traditional artist, storyboard illustrator and former videogame artist, experiencing a film in the theatre environment, equipped with high quality projection and sound, is a personal priority.