Our first studio class, IDSE_103, centered around the theme of storytelling. The first story we had to tell was about ourselves as we were tasked with going all in on the social media scene. For me this was a big jump as I started off quite ‘unconnected’.
It turned out, however, that being unconnected simply meant that I had a blank canvas to work with, and diving in allowed me to begin to tell my story. As the quarter progressed we used these social media sites not only to tell our story, but to begin to create networks to distribute ideas.
We also learned a variety of tools and frameworks that helped us support these stories. These tools varied in fidelity in order to match the state of an idea. We started off with low fidelity visualization techniques: quick sketches on post it notes that we used to anchor our storytelling.
These low fidelity sketches became the starting point with which to begin telling a story. Their value lies in their simplicity. I can walk up to a whiteboard and sketch out these anchors as I give an impromptu presentation. Here’s an example:
As the quarter progressed we learned how to take these rough ides and formulate them into more formal business pitches. We drew on some of the research from Lauren’s class to generate ideas which we then shared with the class. We represented our ideas visually with concept maps that described complex systems:
Then as the ideas took shape we were able to formulate business plans around these ideas. We learned how to pitch these ideas, and created multiple pitch decks to support our story. Every assignment told a story, and as we moved through the quarter the fidelity of the supporting material increased. We created mobile applications to support our ideas, choosing hero elements and building on some of the visualization and rapid prototyping techniques we had already learned.
From there we built basic wireframes to begin to create the interactions and desired function of our sites.
And finally we learned how to tell stories when we are not even there. Below is a video pitching YAWYE, a service I designed for this class.
Ideas are virtually worthless if you don’t share them early and often. This class gave me many tools and frameworks to do just that. I now have multiple frameworks to pick from when prototyping an idea and telling a story. I think most importantly it pushed me to focus on the story, own the whiteboard, and share everything…. Think, Make, Share.
The prototype project above has been pitched to several possible partners, and will be beta tested at a restaurant in San Francisco shortly. Stay tuned on the AC4D blog for updates on how the beta test goes.