Video Prototyping

This week in class, we learned all about video prototyping. We started by looking at a handful of successful and less-successful product videos and analyzed as a class what made them successful. Did we understand what they were selling? What was the story? How did they tell it? We found that the most successful videos clearly addressed the pain points. I found the Nest Protect video to be most compelling because of its hook— we’ve all waved our hands and rags in front of a touchy smoke detector. It was so clever! I also enjoyed this movie because of its focus on the hardware and pain points instead of the UI. We found the videos that featured more UI tended to look like feature tours and distracted from the story.

Our next lesson was a crash course in cinematic techniques. Justin shared with us tricks for creating stronger storyboards— which pencils to try, what to include in the annotations. We also learned about common camera angles and shots used to create tension and keep the story progressing. I’ve learned about some of these techniques before in a Film Crit class during my undergrad, but I never thought about challenging myself to recreate them!

For our in-class exercise, we were split into groups of 3 and tasked with creating a 1-minute video that demoed the app “One Bus Away.” Donglu, Necklace, and I immediately got to work! It was so great to finally work with them both since we had so much chemistry!

We first started by mapping out why we all use “One Bus Away.” Our most compelling pain point was time. We don’t like relying on “Google Maps” for bus routes, because the app doesn’t tell you if the bus is running early or late. You can show up to a bus stop right on time and find that the bus is either late or just leaving! We decided that it would be fun to show two scenarios: A) Donglu takes her time, based on Google Maps, and misses the bus by a minute and B) Donglu checks One Bus Away, rushes to get ready, and walks straight onto the bus.

1.5 hours later, we had a video!