Archives for category: Interactive

Print. Cut. Shuffle. For brainstorming better interactions.

The xD Idea Deck is a compilation of game mechanics, rules, and social touchpoints to help generate novel interactions, experiences, and services.

The suggested method is to combine the xD Idea Deck with a card sorting exercise—write out all the issues surrounding a particular brand, service, or product, then use the xD Idea Deck as cogs between those cards. Or, simply draw random cards from each type and combine them to form novel interactions.

The xD Idea Deck comes as a print-ready PDF–complete with crop marks. Send it to a printer and have them do all the work.

Download for Free: xD Idea Deck v1.3 (1.3M PDF)

Version History:

1.3: Reworked for easy printing. Now with crop marks!
1.2: Prettified the card art.
1.1: Added ‘Rules’ deck, and properly recategorized many cards as ‘rules.’ Added ‘versus’ cards. Eliminated ‘crowdsourcing’ and ‘appointment dynamic’ because they were redundant.

I developed this application to help evaluate concepts, stories, or messaging against six factors: Simplicity, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotion, Unexpectedness, and Narrative. It produces an estimated “Concept Stickiness” value and fingerprint for qualitative comparison.

I am still working to provide more contextual help and guidance within the utility.

This work is derived from the framework described in Chip and Dan Heath’s book “Made to Stick” as well as Malcolm Gladwell’s articulation in “The Tipping Point.”

The CSM is a work in progress. Please submit comments or suggestions.

Abandon all hope: 39 ways to die!

[Updated with new insights]

Growing up, the first taste I had for interactive media was through “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, which ended each scene with a choice that the reader must make. One choice may continue the plot-line, one might take you on a tangent, and the third would lead to certain doom. Each book varied dramatically in complexity and usually boasted on the front cover the vast number of possible endings… of which, most were death or detention.

I loved those books. I loved taking the wrong turn in “The Cave of Time” or outrunning the mummy in… whatever the one with the mummy was called. And last year, I decided to create my own interactive story–as an experiment–using the most narrative-hostile environment I could think of: Twitter. (Skip to the adventure) Read the rest of this entry »

(Wherein I continue my attempt to resurrect old ideas and notes of mine for discussion, derision, and non-profit.)

Scribbled in my notes: “Scene-sequel storytelling for framing mental models.”

Scene and sequel are powerful tools in storytelling:

From Helium:

“Scene and sequel are two of the most important components of plot, but they also seem to be two of the least understood. If plot were an engine, scene and sequel would be the pistons powering the drive shaft. Writers striving to turbocharge their writing might want to fine-tune their use of scene and sequel.”

In addition to using scene-sequel for writing fiction, I’ve also found it useful for exploring a user’s mental model (how they go about their day, how they react to events, how they use things, etc…). It helps me figure out where my interactive work will fit into and square with their lives and experiences. Scene-sequel, at a high level, looks something like this: Read the rest of this entry »

(Wherein I continue my attempt to resurrect old ideas and notes of mine for discussion, derision, and non-profit.)

Scribbled in my notes: “Crafted interactive experiences should have a dramatic arc.”

There are generally two types of interactive experience: sandbox and crafted. The former provides the means for a user to play unguided and form their own narrative. It is open-ended and generally nonlinear. A crafted experience’s intent, however, is to communicate a story. It can be about a character, a product, history, or fiction. It doesn’t particularly matter. All that matters is that the story is trying to direct you to a conclusion, be it whimsical, commercial, or philanthropic. Read the rest of this entry »