Step 1 – Question
How can narrative through motion design be utilized to inform young adults about the hazards cell phones have to their face to face interactions?
Step 2 – Survey
Since we are all still socially distant and mostly confined to our homes I tried getting as many non designer opinions of my question but the only answers I got were responses from my family. One of the first things I learned was, do I want to focus on a design that is based upon persuasion or a design that is informative. As persuasion can be a narrative. I do like the idea of going down the narrative path but would still need to do more research into narrative and the power it can create. Based on this, I had a hard time narrowing down to one question that would encompass my problem and how design could solve it. Another question I came up with if I wanted to go down the informative route would be, “How can motion be utilized to facilitate a conversation about social interactions with young adults?” I realized that this question was a little vague and broad so if I was to change and go down this path I would have to rework that question more. However, from my survey I also learned that most thought that this question was more geared towards the informative side as they thought wouldn’t you want to inform people about the hazards and not necessarily persuade them to put their phones down.
Here is what I learned from surveying non designers about my question and what they thought it meant:
The first person I surveyed started by asking “What does narrative mean? Do you mean by talking about?” In which I responded with storytelling. Once they finished reading the question they told me what they thought it meant. “It is more about face to face communication. If all conversations are through texting they never learn to pick up on visual cues in, in person conversations.”
The second person I surveyed believed the question meant exactly what it said. The question would inform a solution about how motion design could be used to get a message out or inform young adults about the hazards of phone use. It is all about the effects of cell phones on social abilities. They had no questions but felt like the question was going to take a more informative route than a persuasive route.
The third person said, “to me it means, how can I use a story (with motion) to warn young adults that if they use cell phones too much, it may impact their personal conversations and interactions.” Two thoughts came into their mind when reading the question, “would audio be used?” and they were not completely sure if they had the warning right. Was it really about using cell phones too much, they made that assumption but thought they could be wrong.
The fourth person said, “I think that the “narrative through motion design” means a video and the rest means that it tells a story and the story is that excessive use of cell phones can be bad for their personal relationships. So I envision a PSA that somehow depicts the negative effects that excessive phone use can cause.” Some questions they had were; Is it the cell phones themselves that are the problem or is it how we use them? Is the narrative focusing on productive use of cell phones vs time wasting apps that suck you in? Would the narrative show the opportunity cost of using a cell phone for time wasting things? I thought that all their questions were very good with some of them giving me ideas about what to research next when it comes to the problem I want to solve.
The fifth person said that what they believe the question is saying is how can you use design to inform people of cell phone hazards. Only question they had was whether the sentence needed an ‘a’ or ‘the’ in front of the narrative otherwise they believed that they understood what the question is asking and how design will be used to try to solve it.
After surveying some non-designers, I know I am on the write track with my research question. I just may need to reword some things to make the problem that the question is attempting to solve more clear. I know that I also have to decide if my goal is to be more persuasive or more informative. Also can a narrative be informative or are they only persuasive. So my next step is to do more research into the power of narrative to see if that would be the direction I would want to go and maybe even ask a Subject Matter Expert which they think would work better.