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What is video prototyping?

Sheza Naveed

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

Video prototyping is used by interaction designers to tell a story about a design. Video prototyping allows people to connect with the design as they would in real life. It shows the entire experience through a narrative. Moreover, video prototyping allows all the stakeholders - users, developers, buyers, etc. - to understand the design better.

Process of creating a video prototype

Advantages of video prototyping

  1. Can be done early on in the process.
  2. Extends the idea of prototyping beyond the screen by showing the context of use.
  3. Conveys the idea more vividly and clearly compared to long documentation that is hard to follow.
  4. Leads to linking the design decisions with actual user tasks. This helps clarify which design decisions can actually map to tasks and which cannot.

Video prototyping can be used at any stage of the design life cycle. It can be used at every stage to bring the idea to life.

Comparison between a written description and video prototype

Margaret is a 17-year-old girl with an eating disorder called anorexia. Anorexia is characterized by very low body weight and the fear of gaining weight. This has hindered her day-to-day activities, as she feels weak and cannot complete her daily tasks. Moreover, she is mocked by her peers for having a weak physique, which further depresses her. She wishes to visit a nutritionist but cannot convey this to her parents, as they will not agree. Her friend introduces her to an app called ‘Nutri’ that helps her streamline her diet. It sends her meal reminders and allows her to contact nutritionists online for a reasonable amount of money that she can pay herself. The app makes her create an avatar for which she can earn rewards if she eats three times a day and logs her meals into the app. Nutri also gives her healthy food and exercise suggestions to keep her active. She can also interact with online communities made on the app where people facing the same issues can talk to each other.

Now consider the above scenario presented in the form of a video prototype:

Scene 1: Margaret is shown depressed in bed. The speaker in the background explains that she has anorexia and is weak.

Scene 2: Margaret is shown trying to eat food and then putting it away and then being teased by her peers. The speaker continues to explain the situation.

Scene 3: Her friend shows her Nutri. Margaret makes an account, creates her avatar, logs her meal, earns rewards, sees exercise and meal suggestions, and chats with members of the app community.

Scene 4: Margaret sets up an appointment with a nutritionist and lets out a sigh of relief.

Scene 5: 1 month later, Margaret’s mood and health are shown to improve. The entire video is complemented by speaker narration in the background, along with relevant music.

Compare the scenario with the video prototyping form. It is more interactive, easily understandable, and more detailed. Consider Scene 3; all the steps of logging a meal, creating the avatar, and browsing through suggestions can be shown more clearly, quickly, and with individual steps in a video, as opposed to written form.

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Sheza Naveed
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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