AI computing involves two phases: training and inference. Training requires computers that can process enormous amounts of data. For example, getting an AI system to recognize what’s in photographs requires a computer to sort through billions of labeled photos to create a model. That model is used in the second step to infer, or identify, what’s in a specific photo.
Intel already sells its Nervana chips for training and inference to data centers packed with servers, computing infrastructure that often powers services at AI-heavy companies such as Google and Facebook. Intel is now shipping its larger, more expensive and power-hungry Nervana NNP-T chips for training and its smaller NNP-I chips for inference, the chipmaker announced.
Great designers understand the powerful role that psychology plays in visual perception. What happens when someone’s eye meets your design creations?
Gestalt (form, shape in German) is a group of visual perception principles developed by German psychologists in 1920s. It is built on the theory that “an organized whole, is perceived as greater than the sum of its parts”.
four key ideas:
People tend to identify elements first in their general outlined form. Our brain recognizes a simple, well-defined object quicker than a detailed one.
People can recognize objects even when there are parts of them missing. Our brain matches what we see with familiar patterns stored in our memory and fills in the gaps.
People will often interpret ambiguous objects in more than one ways. Our brains will bounce back and forth between the alternatives seeking certainty. As a result, one view will become more dominant while the other one will get harder to see.
People can recognise simple objects independently of their rotation, scale and translation. Our brain can perceive objects from different perspectives, despite their different appearance.
Elements arranged close to each other are perceived as more related than those placed further apart. This way different elements are viewed mainly as a group rather than as individual elements.
the Common Region principle
A good Common Region example would be the card UI pattern; a well defined rectangular space with different bits of information presented as one. Banners and tables are good examples as well.
Elements sharing similar visual characteristics are perceived to be more related than those not sharing similar characteristics.
We can use the principle of Similarity in navigation, links, buttons, headings, call to actions and more.
A group of elements are often perceived to be a single recognisable form or figure. The Closure also occurs when an object is incomplete, or parts of it are not enclosed.
We can use the Closure principle in Iconography, where simplicity helps with communicating meaning, swiftly and clearly.
Symmetrical elements tend to perceived as belonging together regardless of their distance, giving us a feeling of solidity and order.
It’s good to use Symmetry for portfolios, galleries, product displays, listings, navigation, banners, and any content-heavy page.
Elements arranged in a line or a soft curve are perceived to be more related than those arranged randomly or in a harsh line.
The linear arrangement of rows and columns are good examples of Continuity. We can use them in menus and sub-menus, lists, product arrangements, carousels, services or process/progress displays.
Elements moving towards the same direction are perceived as more related than those moving in different directions, or not moving at all.
We can use the Common Fate principle in expandable menus, accordions, tool-tips, product sliders, parallax scrolls and swiping indicators.
User Interface Design isn’t all about pretty pixels and sparkly graphics. It’s mainly about communication, performance and convenience.
Iris Murdoch on Storytelling, Why Art Is Essential for Democracy, and the Key to Good Writing
“A good society contains many different artists doing many different things. A bad society coerces artists because it knows that they can reveal all kinds of truths.”
BY MARIA POPOVA
“Storytelling is a tool for knowing who we are and what we want.” Ursula K. Le Guin
philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch (July 15, 1919–February 8, 1999) — one of the most lucid and luminous minds of the twentieth century — explored in a long, deep, immensely insightful 1977 conversation with the British broadcaster and philosopher Bryan McGee, which aired on McGee’s television series Men of Ideas.
There is always more bad art around than good art, and more people like bad art than like good art.
James Baldwin wielded the double-edged sword of the artist’s duty to society, Murdoch insists on this largeness: The artist’s duty is to art, to truth-telling in his own medium, the writer’s duty is to produce the best literary work of which he is capable, and he must find out how this can be done.
The bottom line: While the Big Tech behemoths of the U.S. are barred from making inroads in China, the inverse doesn’t apply. That could mark an opening front in the ongoing technological and economic war between the two rivals.
Mindfulness has become a core social and emotional learning strategy in the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in Texas. The district has even created a mindfulness specialist position, filled by James Butler, the district’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.
There are various understandings of mindfulness, but most focus on being nonjudgmental and present in the moment.
Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered. He sets the rules for how to distinguish violent and incendiary speech from the merely offensive, and he can choose to shut down a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying it.
We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.
It is time to break up Facebook.
America was built on the idea that power should not be concentrated in any one person, because we are all fallible. That’s why the founders created a system of checks and balances.
More legislation followed in the 20th century, creating legal and regulatory structures to promote competition and hold the biggest companies accountable.
Starting in the 1970s, a small but dedicated group of economists, lawyers and policymakers sowed the seeds of our cynicism. Over the next 40 years, they financed a network of think tanks, journals, social clubs, academic centers and media outlets to teach an emerging generation that private interests should take precedence over public ones. Their gospel was simple: “Free” markets are dynamic and productive, while government is bureaucratic and ineffective.
From our earliest days, Mark used the word “domination” to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility.
Facebook’s monopoly is also visible in its usage statistics.About 70 percent of American adults use social media, and a vast majority are on Facebook products. Over two-thirds use the core site, a third use Instagram, and a fifth use WhatsApp. By contrast, fewer than a third report using Pinterest, LinkedIn or Snapchat. What started out as lighthearted entertainment has become the primary way that people of all ages communicate online.
The F.T.C.’s biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp. In 2012, the newer platforms were nipping at Facebook’s heels because they had been built for the smartphone, where Facebook was still struggling to gain traction. Mark responded by buying them, and the F.T.C. approved.
The News Feed algorithm reportedly prioritized videos created through Facebook over videos from competitors, like YouTube and Vimeo. In 2012, Twitter introduced a video network called Vine that featured six-second videos. That same day, Facebook blocked Vine from hosting a tool that let its users search for their Facebook friends while on the new network.The decision hobbled Vine, which shut down four years later.
unlike Vine, Snapchat wasn’t interfacing with the Facebook ecosystem; there was no obvious way to handicap the company or shut it out. So Facebook simply copied it. (opyright law does not extend to the abstract concept itself.)
As markets become more concentrated, the number of new start-up businesses declines. This holds true in other high-tech areas dominated by single companies, like search (controlled by Google) and e-commerce (taken over by Amazon). Meanwhile, there has been plenty of innovation in areas where there is no monopolistic domination, such as in workplace productivity (Slack, Trello, Asana), urban transportation (Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird) and cryptocurrency exchanges (Ripple, Coinbase, Circle).
The choice is mine, but it doesn’t feel like a choice. Facebook seeps into every corner of our lives to capture as much of our attention and data as possible and, without any alternative, we make the trade.
Just last month, Facebook seemingly tried to bury news that it had stored tens of millions of user passwords in plain text format, which thousands of Facebook employees could see. Competition alone wouldn’t necessarily spur privacy protection — regulation is required to ensure accountability — but Facebook’s lock on the market guarantees that users can’t protest by moving to alternative platforms.
Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished. Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values. The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.
As if Facebook’s opaque algorithms weren’t enough, last year we learned that Facebook executives had permanently deleted their own messages from the platform, erasing them from the inboxes of recipients; the justification was corporate security concerns.
Mark may never have a boss, but he needs to have some check on his power. The American government needs to do two things: break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people.
We Don’t Need Social Media
The push to regulate or break up Facebook ignores the fact that its services do more harm than good
Hughes joins a growing chorus of former Silicon Valley unicorn riders who’ve recently had second thoughts about the utility or benefit of the surveillance-attention economy their products and platforms have helped create. He is also not the first to suggest that government might need to step in to clean up the mess they made
Nick Srnicek, author of the book Platform Capitalismand a lecturer in digital economy at King’s College London, wrotelast month, “[I]t’s competition — not size — that demands more data, more attention, more engagement and more profits at all costs
Like the circle-bound symmetry of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, the meat and bones of the human race are the same in 2018 as they were in 1490. And yet, we are different.
Michael Patrick Lynch, writer and professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut. “The digital revolution is more like the revolution brought on by the written word. Just as the written word allowed us to time-travel — to record our thoughts for others, including ourselves, to read in the future — so the internet has allowed for a kind of tele-transportation , breaking down barriers of space and physical limitation and connecting us across the globe in ways we now take for granted, as we do the written word.”
In the book Self-Tracking, authors Gina Neff, a sociology professor at Oxford University, and Dawn Nafus, a research scientist at Intel, describe this phenomenon as a shuffling between physical signs and observed recordings: “The data becomes a ‘prosthetic of feeling,’Advocates of this “prosthetic of feeling” argue that self-tracking can train people to recognize their own body signals, tuning the senses to allow for a greater grasp of biological rhythms.but what if the body-as-data is exploited by the state, or by an insurance company that can predict when you’ll get diabetes, or a data analytics firm that can use it to help sway elections? The Chinese government is going so far as to plan a social credit score for its citizens by 2020, giving each of the country’s 1.3 billion residents a reputation number based on economic and social status. What is particularly subtle about all this is that, like a scientific épistémè, our way of thinking is perhaps unconsciously guided by the configurations of knowledge these new technologies allow. We don’t question it.
Facebook goads us to remember past moments on a daily basis, the stacked boxes of tape in Beckett’s play replaced with stacks of servers in remote data centers in northern Sweden.“There is reasonable evidence that [the internet] has reduced our internal memory ability,” says Phil Reed, a professor of psychology at Swansea University.
Moderate tech use correlated with positive mental health, according to a paper published in Psychological Science by Andrew Przybylski of Oxford and Netta Weinstein at Cardiff University, who surveyed 120,000 British 15-year-olds.Again, the crucial question is one of control. If our way of thinking is changed by our intimacy with these technologies, then is this process being directed by individuals, or the ledgers of private companies, or governments keen on surveilling their citizens? If we conceive of these systems as extensions of our own brains, what happens if they collapse?
Brain-machine interfaces (BMI) are coming in leaps and bounds, with companies like Neuralink and CTRL-Labs in the United States exploring both surgical and noninvasive processes that allow computers to be controlled directly by signals from the brain. It’s a field that involves fundamentally changing the relationship between our minds, bodies, and machines.Kevin Warwick, emeritus professor at Coventry University and a pioneer in implant technology
It’s difficult to have a teenager’s mind. The brain develops rapidly during the adolescent years, which partially explains why teens experience anger, sadness and frustration so intensely.
A 2014 survey published by the American Psychological Association found that teens report feeling even more stressed than adults, and that this affects them in unhealthy ways.
Sheryl Gonzalez Ziegler, a psychologist in Denver, Colo., explains, “When teens are overwhelmed, parents may try to connect with their kids’ feelings by drawing on their own childhood experiences.
In a 2016 longitudinal study of 497 Dutch teens between the ages of 13 and 18, researchers found that cognitive empathy skills help teens regulate their emotions, improve their listening skills and strengthen their ability to tolerate conflict. They also found that these skills can help kids work through disagreements with their parents more constructively.
Research on teen stress by David Yeager, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, shows that cognitive empathy skills can also help adolescents to realize that people and situations can change, which allows them to face social challenges more easily.
P 4. But all that “disruption,” as people love to collect, is over looking the thing that’s the most disruptive of them all call on the way we relate to each other will never be the same. That’s because of something called presence.
Presence is the absolute foundation of virtual reality, and in VR, it’s the absolute foundation of connection-connection with yourself, with an idea, with another human, even connection with artificial intelligence.
p. 28 VR definition
Virtual reality is an 1. artificial environment that’s 2. immersive enough to convince you that you are 3. actually inside it.
1. ” artificial environment ” could mean just about anything. The photograph is an artificial environment of video game is an artificial environment a Pixar movie is an artificial environment the only thing that matters is that it’s not where are you physically are
p. 44 VR: putting the “it” in “meditation” my note: it seems Rubin sees the 21st century VR as the equivalent of the drug experimentation in the 1960s US: p. 46 “VR is potentially going to become a direct interface to the subconscious”
p. 74 serious games, Carrie Heeter. p. 49
The default network in the brain in today’s society is the wandering mind. We are ruminating about the past, and we are worrying about the future, or maybe even planning for the future; there is some productive thinking. But in general, a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. And that is where we spent all of our week in time: not being aware of everything that we are experiencing in the moment.
Hester’s Open meditation had already let her to design apps and studies that investigated mediate meditations ability to calm that wandering mind
p. 51 Something called interoception. It is a term that is gaining ground in psychologist circles in recent years and basically means awareness of battle associations-like my noticing the fact that I was sitting awkwardly or that keeping my elbows on the cheers armrests was making my shoulders hunched slightly. Not surprisingly, mindfulness meditation seems to heighten interoception. And that is exactly how Heeter and Allbritton Strep throat the meditation I am doing on Costa Del sole. First, I connect with the environment; then with my body; Dan I combined the two. The combination of the VR and interception leads to what she describes as “embodied presence”: not only do you feel like you are in the VR environment, but because you have consciously work to integrate your bodily Sensations into VR, it is a fuller, more vivid version of presents.
p. 52 guided meditation VR GMVR
p. 56 VVVR visual voice virtual reality
Just as the ill-fated google glass immediately stigmatized all its wearers as “glassholes”- a.k.a. “techier-than-thou douche bags who dropped $1500 to see an email notification appear in front of their face”-so to do some VR headset still look like face TVs for another it’s
p. 61 Hedgehog Love
engineering feelings with social presence. p.64 remember presents? This is the beginning of social presence. Mindfulness is cool, but making eye contact with Henry is the first step into the future.
p.65 back in 1992, our friend Carrie heeter posited that presence-the sensation did you are really there in VR-head treat day mentions. There was personal presents, environmental presents, and social presents, which she basically defined is being around other people who register your existence.
p. 66 the idea that emotion can be not a cause, as sweet so often assumed, but a result of it of behavior
p. 72 in chapter 1, we explain the difference between Mobile VR and PC driven PR. The former is cheaper and easier; all you do is drop your smart phone into a headset, and it provides just about everything can eat. Dedicated VR headsets rely on the stronger processors of desktop PCs and game consoles,So they can provide a more robust sense of presence-usually at the cost of being hit Earth to your computer with cables. (it’s the cost of actual money: dedicated headset systems from hundreds of dollars, while mobile headsets like Samsung’s deer VR or Google’s DayDream View can be had for mere tens of dollars.) There is one other fundamental distinction between mobile VR and high-end VR, though, and that is what you do with your hands-how you input your desires. When VR reemerged in the early 2010s, however, the question of input was open to debate. Actually, more than one debate. p. 73 video game controllers are basically metaphors. Some, like steering wheels or pilot flight sticks, might look like that think they’re supposed to be, but at their essence they are all just collections of buttons. p. 77 HTC sales small wearable truckers that you can affix to any object, or anybody part, to break it into the Vive’s VR.
p. 78 wait a second – you were talking about storytelling.
p. 79 Every Hollywood studio you can imagine-21st Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bross.-Has already invested in virtual reality. They have made VR experiences based on their own movies, like interstellar or ghost in the Shell, and they have invested in other VR companies. Hollywood directors like Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) and Robert Stromberg (Maleficent) have taken VR project. And the progress is exhilarating. Alejandro GOnzalez Inarritu, a 4-Time Oscar winner for best director 2014 movie Birdman, won best picture, received this special achievement Academy award in 2017 for a VR Schwartz he made. Yet Carne Y Arena, which puts viewers insight a harrowing journey from Mexico to the United States, is nothing like a movie, or even a video game.
When you premiered at the Cannes film Festival in early 2017, it was housed in an airplane hangar; viewers were a shirt, barefoot, into a room with a sand-covert floor, where they could watch and interact with other people trying to make it over the border. Arrests, detention centers, dehydration-the extremity of the human condition happening all around you. India announcement, the Academy of motion picture arts and sciences called the peas “deeply emotional and physically immersive”
p. 83 empathy versus intimacy. Why good stories need someone else
p. 85 empathy vs intimacy: appreciation vs emotion
Both of these words are fuzzy, to say the least. Both have decades of study behind him, but both have also appeared and more magazine covers in just about any words, other than possibly “abs”
Empathy: dear Do it to do identify with and understand dollars, particularly on an emotional level. It involves imagining yourself in the place of another and, therefore, appreciating how do you feel.
Intimacy: a complex sphere of ‘inmost’ relationships with self and others that are not usually minor or incidental (though they may be a transitory) and which usually touch the personal world very deeply. They are our closest relationships with friends, family, children, lovers, but they are also the deep into important experiences we have with self
Empathy necessarily needs to involve other people; intimacy doesn’t. Empathy involves emotional understanding; intimacy involves emotion itself. Empathy, at its base, isn’t act of getting outside yourself: you’re protecting yourself into someone’s else experience, which means that in some ways you are leaving your own experience behind, other than as a reference point. Intimacy, on the other hand, is at its base act of feeling: you might be connecting quit someone or something Else, but you are doing so on the basis of the emotions you feel. p 86. Any type of VR experience perfectly illustrates the surprising gap between empathy and intimacy: life action VR. p. 87 unlike CGI-based storytelling, which full somewhere in between game in movie, live action VR feels much more like the conventional video forms that we are used to from television and movies. Like those media, people have been using VR to shoot everything from narrative fiction to documentary the sports.
p. 92 every single story has only one goal at its base: to make you care. This holds true whether it is a tale told around a campfire at night, one related to a sequence of panels in the comic book, or dialogue-heavy narrative of a television show. The story might be trying to make you laugh, or just scare you, or to make you feel sad or happy on behalf of one of the characters, but those are all just forms of caring, right? Your emotional investment-the fact that what kept us in this tale matters to you-is the fundamental aim of the storyteller.
Storytelling, than, has evolved to find ways to draw you out of yourself, to make you forget that what you are hearing or seeing or reading isn’t real. It’s only at that point, after all, that our natural capacity for empathy can kick in. p. 93 meanwhile, technology continues to evolve to detaches from those stories. For one, the frame itself continues to get smaller. Strangers still, this distraction has happened well stories continue to become more and more complex. Narratively, at least, stories are more intricate then the have ever been. p. 94. Now, with VR storytelling, the distracting power of multiple screens his met it’s match.
p. 101 experiencing our lives- together
What videos two cannot do, though, he’s bringing people together insights VR, the way re-McClure’s sinking-multicoloredat-blogs-at-each-other tag-team project is VVVR does. That’s why even V are filmmaking powerhouses like Within ( https://www.with.in/get-the-app) are moving beyond mere documentary and narrative and trying to turn storytelling into a shared experience.
Make no mistake: storytelling has always been a shirt experience. Being conscripted into the story, or even being the story.
p. 103 like so many VR experiences, life of us defies many of the ways we describe a story to each other. For one, it feels at fonts shorter and longer than its actual seven-minutes runtime; although it’s seems to be over in a flash, flash contains so many details that in retrospect it is as full and vivid is a two-our movie.
There is another think, though, that sets life of us apart from so many other stories-it is the fact that not only was I in the story, but someone else was in there with me. In that someone wasn’t a field character talking to a camera that they some calling about it, or a video game creature that was programmed to look in ‘my’ direction, but a real person-a person who saw what I saw, a person who was present for each of those moments and who know is inextricably part of my old, shard-Like memory of them.
p. 107 what to do and what to do it with . How social VR is reinventing everything from game night to online harassment.
p. 110 VR isn’t given Romo’s first bet on the future. When he was finishing up his masters degree in mechanical engineering, a professor emailed him on behalf of two men who were recruiting for a rocket company there were starting. One of those man was a Elon musk, which is how Romo became the 13th employee at space X. Eventually, she started the company focusing go solar energy, but when the bottom fell out of the industry, she shut down the company and looked for his next opportunity. Romo spent the next year and a half researching the technology and thinking about what kind of company might make sense in the new VR enabled world. He had read Snow crash, but he oh soon you get our hopes for DVR future could very well end up like gay themed flying car: defined-and limited-bite an expectation that might not match perfectly which what we actually want.
p. 116 back in the day, trolling just trim forward to pursuing a provocative argument for kicks. Today, the word used to describe the actions of anonymous mobs like the one that, for instance, Rolf actor Leslie Jones off Twitter with an onslaught of racist and sexist abuse. Harassment has become one of the defining characteristics of the Internet is for use it today. But with the emergernce of VR, our social networks have become, quite literally, embodied.
p. 142 increasing memory function by moving from being a voyeur to physically participating in the virtual activity. embodied presence – bringing not just your head into your hands, but your body into VR-strengthens memories in the number of ways.
p. 143 at the beginning of 2017, Facebook fit published some of its. New Ron’s in internal research about the potential of social VR. Neurons INc. The agency measured eye movements, Brain activity, and pools of volunteers who were watching streaming video on smart phones and ultimately discovered that buffering and lag were significantly more stressful than waiting can line it a store, and even slightly more stressful than watching a horror movie.
p. 145 after the VR experience, more than 80% of introverts — is identified by a short survey participants took before hand-wanted to become friends with the person they had chatted with, as opposed to less than 60% of extroverts
p. 149 Rec Room Confidential: the anatomy in evolution of VR friendships
p. 165 reach out and touch someone; haptics, tactile presence and making VR physical.
p. 171 Zhao laid out two different criteria. The first was whether or not to people are actually in the same place-basically, are they or their stand-ins physically close enough to be able to communicate without any other tools? To people, she wrote, can either have “physical proximity” or “electronic proximity” the latter being some sort of networked connection. The second criterion was whether each person is corporeally there; in other words, is it their actual flesh-and-blood body? The second condition can have three outcomes: both people can be there corporeally; neither can be there corporeally , instead using some sort of stand in like an avatar or a robot; or just one of them can be there corporeally, with the other using case stent in
“virtual copresence” is when a flesh and blood person interacts physically with a representative of a human; if that sounds confusing, 80 good example is using an ATM call mom where are the ATM is a stent in for a bank teller
p. 172 “hypervirtual copresence,” which involves nonhuman devices that are interacting in the same physical space in a humanlike fashion. social VR does not quite fit into any of this category. Zhao refers to this sort of hybrid as a “synthetic environment” and claims that it is a combination of corporeal https://www.waze.com/telecopresence (like Skyping) and virtual telecopresence(like Waze directions )
p. 172 haptic tactics for tactile aptness
Of the five human senses, a VR headset ca currently stimulates only to: vision and hearing. That leaves treat others-and while smell and taste me come some day.
P. 174; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley Brave New World. tactile “feelies”
p. 195 XXX-chnage program: turning porn back into people
p. 221 where we are going, we don’t need headsets. lets get speculative
p. 225 Magic Leap. p. 227 Magic Leap calls its technology “mixed reality,” claiming that the three dimensional virtual objects it brings into your world are far more advanced than the flat, static overlays of augmented reality. In reality, there is no longer any distinction between the two; in fact, the air are by now so many terms being accused in various ways by various companies that it’s probably worth a quick clarification.
Virtual reality: the illusion of an all-enveloping artificial world, created by wearing an opaque display in front of your eyes.
augmented reality: Bringing artificial objects into the real world-these can be as simple as a ” heads-up display,” like a speedometer project it onto your car’s windshield, or as complex as seen to be virtual creature woke across your real world leaving room, casting a realistic shadow on the floor
mixed reality: generally speaking, this is synonymous with AR, or eight at least with the part of AR that brings virtual objects into the real world. However, some people prefer “mixed” because they think “augmented” implies that reality isn’t enough.
extended or synthetic reality (XR or SR): all of the above! this are bought catch old terms that encompass the full spectrum of virtual elements individual settings.
p. 231 in ten years, we won’t even have smartphone anymore.
p. 229 Eve VR is these come blink toddler, though, AR/MR is a third-trimester fetus: eat may be fully formed book eat is not quite ready to be out in the world yet. The headsets or large, the equipment is far more expensive than VR Anthony in many cases we don’t even know what a consumer product looks like.
p. 235 when 2020 is hindsight: what life in 2028 might actually look like.
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.