Creating a Video Prototype for OneBusAway

The goal of a video prototype is to persuade. It will persuade audience such as your stakeholder group, or in other word, a potential user or someone who is going to use your design. The prototype should address the features or what people can do with the product. I have created a video prototype a.k.a a product demo for the realtime transit data application developed by University of Washington, OneBusAway.


  • 60 seconds maximum length
  • Concentrate on the mobile client rather than the website
  • Use live action, not animation
  • Illustrate overall use of the app, not a particular feature

Scenario Design

I wanted to create something different, and I started with featuring my roommate as the actor rather than myself. I discussed possible user scenario with two of my roommates who all have used OneBusAway before and brainstormed a couple of ideas. Due to the product demo of OneBusAway my peers created earlier, my mind was limited to their scenario and it was difficult to come up with a new one. We summarized that the main purpose of OneBusAway is to tell how many minutes till the next bus come, and based on that, my roommate made a great call and said that we could emphasize on the accuracy of telling time.

We then pondered about when do we need exact times. As a nocturnal person, I usually get up late and arrive class in tireness. I think OneBusAway could provide me with some extra minutes of sleep since I could monitor the exact minutes and set up alarms accrodingly.


Person sleeps and phone alarm goes off.
Person checks OneBusAway and finds exact minutes till next bus arrival. He then sets an timer of some minutes according to the information.
Person enjoys the few extra minutes of sleep.
Timer goes off, person gets up and checks the app again.
Scenes of person washes himself up.
Scenes of person preparing t0 leave.
Speed-up scene of person heading to the bus stop.
Person checks the app again, showing that the bus will arrive now.
Bus arrives on time right after he finishes checking.
Person arrives classroom on time.


I used a Canon 70D DSLR camera to shoot all my footages. The only actor in this demo was my roommate, Peter Lin. The locations of different scenes are:

  • Peter’s bedroom, washroom
  • 45th Ave NE
  • No. 72 bus stop on University Way
  • Savery Hall and its hallway


Final Cut Pro was the editing software I chose. I have used it for several video projects before and am quite familiar with it. It also has abundant resources and features that I really appreciate. Major milestones of the editing process were:

  • Balance of the audio and background noise removal
  • Video trimming
  • Video speed control
  • Color balancing
  • Transition effects
  • Caption and ending text


The final video is 58 seconds long, and titled “Get Extra Minutes of Sleep with OneBusAway”.


This video was presented to my peers and it received reviews like:

I like your crisp video quality, the color is vivid.
Your scenes are very stable, very professional.
I like your captions keeping track of the time remaining and what the user is thinking.
The use of the fast forward scene is very clever.
Close ups of the screen was not very clear.

Future Improvements

Some of the suggestions they made were very constructive and helpful. I am planning to improve this video by:

  • Use overlaid screenshots to display what is happening on the screen clearer.
  • Add instrumental background music to fit the scenes.
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