Case Study

Case Study Example Link- https://www.instagram.com/p/BTOM3axgUmB/?taken-by=cooking.room

Affordance (reading)

What field of study is the affordance reading situated in?

  • Don Norman situates his affordance learnings into the ‘Design’ field of study; “especially graphical and industrial”.

Who originally conceived of the term ‘affordance’, in which field of study?

  • The term ‘affordance’ was originally conceived by J.J. Gibson, a perceptual psychologist who used it in the Psychology field of study.

Describe what ‘affordance’ refers to conceptually in this context?

  • Don Norman is referring to the ‘perceived affordances’ in a design context. He believes most people have misinterpreted his definition of affordances because there are both real and perceived affordances and he was describing the latter. Affordance refers to the ‘relationship’ between an item and the person using it; whether due to real, physical attributes or “what actions the user perceives to be possible”.

What is a ‘constraint’ within the context of the affordance reading?

  • Constraints are the restrictions faced within the context of design or usage. Norman has three different categories of ‘constraints’; physical, logical and cultural. Physical constraints in a design context, specifically speaking about screen design, refer to the things that a user simply cannot do because of physical restrictions, for example, “it is not possible to move the cursor outside the screen”. Logical constraints refer to the things a user cannot do because of logical reasoning, for example if a user is asked to select five buttons and there are only four, this is a logical constraint. A cultural constraint is much more abstract; it is a “learned convention”, meaning that user already knows the limits of a design function because culturally it is the most obvious choice.

Online video (context)

Why have you chosen this online video work? What influenced your decision?

  • When we discussed our interests as a group, we came to the agreement that we all watched cooking or instructional style videos on Instagram. We started with a discussion about what platforms we each felt most comfortable with; coming to a unanimous decision on Instagram and continued from there.

What is the subject?

  • This particular video is an instructional recipe video about cannoli. The video shows a step-by-step process of how to create the cannoli; trying to make it look as easy as possible

What type of material is used? (i.e. archive, found footage, live action, interview…)

  • It is a live action video. The video is cleverly edited together with many jump cuts and fast-motion clips to make it look like it is ‘live’ however it is clearly not in real time.

What do you think the video was recorded with? (DSLR, smartphone, webcam…etc)

  • The steadiness and quality of the footage suggests a DSLR was used on a tripod, however it is probably meant to give the impression of a smartphone and could easily have been a smartphone on a stand.

What is the point–of–view? (i.e. the position of the camera, framing, focus, sharpness, light, exposure, colour, motion…) How are these techniques used to communicate a particular perspective or point–of–view?

  • The video is shot from the point of view of the ‘chef’; it is designed to put the viewer in the shoes of the person making the cannoli so it is easier to follow the steps when you go to recreate it. The above angle, almost like a birds’ eye view, only shows the persons hands and has mostly the same frame throughout the whole video. There are then a few close-ups throughout to emphasise certain actions. The video is bright to enhance the appeal of the food and the video as a whole; it has a very feminine composure and is designed to appeal to female foodies.

What type of sound is used? (i.e. music, atmospheric, voice-over, narration…). How is the sound used in regards to the effect created for the viewer?

  • Again, the music is very bright and cheerful but not too imposing. It is there simply to create a bubbly mood. Most Instagram videos don’t have a focus on sound as the default is mute when a video starts- you could very easily watch this video without the music and receive the same message and instructions.

How important is post-production in the realisation of the work?

  • The post-production values are super important for this video. A lot of editing went into making the video succinct enough for a one minute timeframe. A lot of the individual shots have been sped up before being cut together smoothly and quickly; making it almost appear as if it is one continuous motion. Titles have also been added to clarify what ingredients have been used and the quanitities.

In relation to the narrative of the online video — what is the approach stylistically? For instance, is it abstract? Is the work held together with a voice-over/narration track? Does it consist of one shot that is unedited? Is the work nonfiction or fiction? Does the work use a repetitive cut-up technique?

  • The narrative is very instructional; it follows a very specific step-by-step process that is designed to be easy enough for anyone to follow and recreate. It consists of many shots edited together to create a seamless sequence of events. The video is non-fiction although it is quite a stylised representation of reality; most cooking ventures are not that aesthetic.

Service (context)

Provide an overview of this service in relation to what it affords authors to do with online video?

  • Instagram introduced a video function much later in its development and is still in the process of developing new features and changing the way authors use online video. Originally authors could only post videos that were filmed live on the Instagram app and videos could only be 15 seconds long. Now, Instagram users can upload any video up to 60 seconds in length, either to their account as a ‘post’ or on the ‘story’ feature which enables it to be visible for 24 hours. Instagram has also recently introduced a ‘live’ video feature, only visible to audiences who are online at the time the video is being filmed/published.

Are the videos shared natively on this service or hosted elsewhere? Or is it capable of offering both options?

  • Videos posted on Instagram are native to Instagram; however there is the option of sharing the post to other social media sites. Alternatively, Instagram videos are often used in conjunction with other social media platforms, for example a musician might post a snippet of a music video with the intention of directing the audience to another platform to watch the extended video.

Describe the playback of videos on the service.

  • Videos on Instagram begin playing instantly and automatically as soon as you scroll over them on the newsfeed. They do not play sound unless you ask them to and they also automatically repeat until you scroll past them onto the next post or exit the post completely.

Is there a restriction on duration?

  • Instagram videos can be anywhere between 3 to 60 seconds in length

What are the constraints imposed by the service on the publication of video?

  • Instagram videos must be edited before being uploaded to Instagram, except in terms of length or filters. You cannot cut together multiple videos on Instagram and post them as one longer video; if you do post multiple videos they appear as an album type display (separate videos accessed by swiping left on the video itself). Instagram videos do not allow you to embed links on an individual post- the link must either be provided in the bio of the account or on the story feature of Instagram.

Describe the functionality of the service in regards to authoring and distribution? For instance, do the videos have to be authored in another application beforehand? With distribution — is there an option to share internally and externally? Can the users add comments? Can the producers add tags?

  • It depends on what type of video you would like to publish. If you are after just a straight-forward live-action video then you can author, publish and distribute all on Instagram. If you would like to post an animation or an edited video, you will need to author it on another application prior to publishing to Instagram. Once published, Instagram allows the producer to distribute the video to other social networking platforms or websites; either directly or by offering a share link. The author has the option of accompanying the video with a caption and also has the choice of enabling or disabling user comments. Tags play a huge part on Instagram and the producer can either use hashtags to publish the video to a wider community or ‘@’ tags to contact another user directly.