What is truly impressive, however, is how we are now able to use design to tell a story. In other words, we no longer need to use long scrolls to set up plots or describe what a company does. This is especially great when designing for the mobile experience, which already sets pretty strict limits on how much we can “tell” versus “show.”
Three Video Game Storytelling Techniques We Need More Of In Web Design
1. Make Your Visitor the Hero
Create User Personas
Develop user personas before you do anything else when strategizing and planning for a website. Your personas should have a key “problem” they face.
Enable Avatar Setup
Use Relatable Content
In video game design, there is something known as “ludonarrative dissonance.”
the unpleasant situation where we’re asking players to do something they don’t want to do… or prevent them from doing what they want.
That’s not a lot of space to fill with content for the majority of site visitors, is it?
Functional minimalism is already something you’re doing in your own web design efforts, but have you thought about how it can tie into the storytelling aspect as well?
Here are some ways in which you might use symbols to declutter your site:
Hamburger icon (for the navigation)
Profile photo icon (for account details)
Pencil icon (for an editing interface)
Gear icon (for settings)
Shopping cart icon (to checkout)
Magnifying glass (to expand the search bar)
Connector icon (to open social sharing and RSS feed options)
Question mark (to expand live chat, search, or help options)
And so on.
3. Be Smart About How You Use Space
Use a Spotlight
In video games, you can use light and darkness to draw attention to important pathways. On websites, it’s not always easy to employ the use of lightness or darkness as too-dark of a design or too-light of text could lead to a bad user experience. What you want to do instead is create a “spotlight” of sorts. You can do this by infusing a key area of your design with a dramatic color or a boldly stylized font.
If you’ve ever played a horror video game before, you know how critical the element of sound can be for it.
That said, while you might not be able to direct visitors down the page with the sound of something playing down below, you can use other elements to lead them. For one, you can use interactive elements like animation to draw their attention to where it needs to go.
Employ a Mascot
For some brands, it might make sense to employ the use of an actual mascot to guide visitors through the story.
As attention spans shorten and visitors just want to get to the good stuff on a website, designers have to get more creative in how they communicate their website’s “story.” Ideally, your web design will do more showing of that story instead of telling, which is how video game design tends to succeed in this matter.
Remember: Storytelling isn’t just relegated to big brands that can weave bright and shiny tales about how consumers’ lives were changed with their products. Nor is it just for video game designers that have hours of gameplay to develop for their audiences. A story simply needs to convey to the end-user how their problem can be fixed by your site’s solution. Through subtle design strategies inspired by video game storytelling techniques, you can effectively share and shape your own story.
Video skills are a valuable gateway to digital literacy
Learning to use the equipment and produce content helps students view the media they consume through a more critical lens
In a world of digital consumption, teaching students how to create what they see, hear and watch is like teaching them the secrets behind a magic trick. Students often spend hours weekly on digital devices, reading stories or looking at images, GIFs and video. They consume vast amounts of digital media without often understanding how it’s created.
Bradley has been teaching the video production class since 2005 as its regional occupational program (ROP) instructor for the Graphic Communications, Video Production, and Computer Animation and Modeling courses. Besides helping students develop technical skills, he also infuses his classes with classic film screenings. Students might come to class and watch “Fantasia,” “High Noon,” “Metropolis” and “Dr. Strangelove,” he says.
He also assigns students work that has a specific focus in mind and brings in local experts to help them learn more about a subject before they create.
Library of Congress launched the National Screening Room. The National Screening Room currently offers about 300 videos. The videos are digital copies of films made in the 19th and 20th centuries. You can browse the collection by date, location of the filming, and subject. You can also search for videos that are parts of other LOC collections. All of the videos in the National Screening Room can be viewed online and or downloaded as MP4 files.
I am collaborating on a project comparing the efficacy of two types of instructional videos. We are looking for literature that describes similar research. For example, a study might compare students who have watched voice-over ppt slides and students who have watched Khan-style videos, examining students’ content knowledge and/or some affective constructs. Alternatively, a study might compare the lengths or speeds of only one type of video.
Given the dearth of literature addressing these variables, I am hoping this community can help us uncover some additional research for our literature review. I am happy to compile and share everything that is shared with me over the coming days.
Jenay Robert, Ph.D. Research Project Manager Teaching and Learning with Technology The Pennsylvania State University
Clossen, A. S. (2018). Trope or Trap? Roleplaying Narratives and Length in Instructional Video. Information Technology & Libraries, 37(1), 27-38.
It is impossible to please everyone all the time—at least that is what survey results suggest. There are several takeaways to this study: Video length matters, especially as a consideration before the video is viewed. Timestamps should be included in video creation, or it is highly likely that the video will not be viewed. The video player is key here, as some video players include video length, while others do not. Videos that exceed four minutes are unlikely to be viewed unless they are required. Voice quality in narration matters. Although preference in type of voice inevitably varies, the actor’s voice is noticed over production value. It is important that the narrator speaks evenly and clearly. For brief how-to videos, there is a small preference for screencast instructional videos over a narrative roleplay scenario. The results of the survey indicate that roleplay videos should be wellproduced, brief, and high quality. However, what constitutes high quality is not very well established.15 Finally, screencast videos should include an example scenario, however brief, to ground the viewer in the task.
Lin, S., Aiken, J. M., Seaton, D. T., Douglas, S. S., Greco, E. F., Thoms, B. D., & Schatz, M. F. (2017). Exploring Physics Students’ Engagement with Online Instructional Videos in an Introductory Mechanics Course. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 13(2), 020138-1.
Kruse, N. B., & Veblen, K. K. (2012). Music teaching and learning online: Considering YouTube instructional videos. Journal Of Music, Technology & Education, 5(1), 77-87. doi:10.1386/jmte.5.1.77_1
Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2014). An Examination of Undergraduate Student’s Perceptions and Predilections of the Use of YouTube in the Teaching and Learning Process. Interdisciplinary Journal Of E-Learning & Learning Objects, 1017-32.
Chekuri, C., & Tiecheng, L. (2007). Extracting content from instructional videos by statistical modelling and classification. Pattern Analysis & Applications, 10(2), 69-81.
My note; too old as data but interesting as methodology