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Video Prototyping

USI Programme, Module E2-2, Panos Markopoulos

February 2006

The aim of this module (80 hrs) is for students to familiarize with the use of Video for Interaction Design.

The following topics will be covered:

The course is structured around 2 mini research projects.  Students are expected to create video prototypes to express design ideas for these 2 topics.

Project topic 1:  Communication of parents and children

Parents of young children manage their daily life quite carefully and deliberately in order to ensure adequate ‘quality time’ with their children.  This usually means supporting a steady routine and some rituals that help create a feeling of stability and regularity: taking care of homework where relevant, eating together if possible, reading some stories, taking a bath, going to sleep at the same time. 

Regardless of the age of the children, parents appreciate knowing more about the daily life experiences of their children.  The communication surrounding those is frought with problems.  For young children these have to do with no being able to recall and recount what happened in the day, mentioning things that happened at another time or maybe not even at all. 

Technological support to enhance communication between children and parents on this daily basis and the sharing of experiences from the day, can be seen as problematic.  Teachers may feel threatened or watched, children may be deprived of a chance to live and grow independently, or the technology might even lull parents into a false sense of security.

Project topic 2:  Privacy and Health Care

The de-industrialization and the aging of Western societies, has increased the interest of technology providers to align with healthcare providers in looking for solutions that will

 Most technological scenarios to support health care involve in one way or the other the monitoring of health parameters of the user.  This can be done by explicit or implicit (automated) input.  In both cases a considerable privacy sensitive record of information is created.  The assignment, seeks to investigate ways in which a particular patient group could be supported and the privacy related sensitivities that arise from this monitoring.  

See Pratt, W., Unruh, Civan,A., Skeels, M., Personal Health Information Management, ACM communications, Jan 2006, 56-58.




Lecture / Presentations

Deadlines/Presentations by students


Mon 30/1





Introduction to the mini projects

(Evelien,Javed, Selene and Panos)

Using video in contextual interviews




Assignment 1: "Ethics Lies and Video Tape:

Read Chapter on Interviews

Prepare interview plan

Read the Ethics, Lies and VideoTape paper by Mackay

Shoot Interview for Mini Project

Report (2-4 A4, SIGCHI format) on the process and product and analyze your video with respect to the guidelines by Mackay.

Thu 2/2


Video Prototyping and video brainstorming

Shoot and show Practice Video

Deadline for assignment 2

Assignment 2: "Minority report"

Make practice video prototype to demonstrate Ambient Intelligence (e.g., presentation controller, zapper, personalized advertiser)


Assignment 3: "Starwars"

Read the STARFIRE paper and watch the video

Write analysis of one of the examples (myPAL, Vista or sleevePAD) videos according to the STARFIRE guidelines.

Fri 3/2 14:00-17:00  

combined presentation:

Presentation of interviews

+ focus group plan

Hand in assignment 1


Assignment 4: "Reservoir Dogs" : video brainstorm

Mon 13/2


15:00-16:30   Video brainstorm show

Deadline for assignment  4

Assignment 5: "The Truman Show"

Prepare video prototypes for mini-projects

Fri 17/2



Sneak preview of Video Prototype 

Deadline for assignments 2, 3, 5

Assignment 6: "Devil's advocate"

Watch the prototype of another team and evaluate it- give them a soft copy of this evaluation (1A4-SIGCHI maximum) to include with their DVD.   Evaluation should focus on the interaction and on the video.

Deliverable DVD should be handed in a week later (24/2)with the results of the focus group.

Fri 24/2



Final Presentations  focus group results (combined with video prototype presentation)

Focus group report: includes  focus group plan, notes from the execution of the focus group, results and evaluation of the appropriateness of the method for the problem at hand to be included in the DVD of the team (see specification below)


  1. Chapter 10, Hackos and Reddish, honing your interview skills.

  2. Ethics, Lies and Videotape, Mackay, W., (1995), Proc. CHI’95, pp.138-145.

  3. The "Starfire" Video Prototype Project: A Case History, Tognazzini, B., Proceedings CHI ‘94 - see the page at

  4. Vertelney, L.  Using Video to Prototype User Interfaces.  SIGCHI Bulletin, Vol. 21, Number 2, (October 1989), pp. 57-61.

  5. Optional: a quick (a bit dated) cookbook see

Deliverable DVD

The deliverable is one DVD per project team. All work should be included in the DVD.

This DVD should be labeled and the contents described on its cover.

Please include the following:

A. Video Material
1. max 3' edited Practice Interview

2. max 5' edited Mini project video interview

3. max 3' edited Practice prototype of Ambient Intelligence scenario
3. max 6' video brainstorm
4. max 6' your video prototype (in two compression rates: for viewing in class and for the web).

5. max 6' of the focus group proceedings, that is selected to make some useful points regarding the way the method was run

B. Documents

0.  Readme.txt file or table of contents

1. Mini-project interview report: including interview plan, session summary and conclusions and analysis of your own interview with respect to Ethics guidelines (2 A4)
2. Analysis of example video prototypes with regards to the Starfire guidelines (1 A4 max)
3. Walk-through evaluation of your video prototype by another team  (1 A4 max)

4. Walk through evaluation you did of another team's video prototype (1 A4 max)
5. Storyboard for the video prototype as a PowerPoint or word document or a .jpg image.
6. Slides of your final presentation
7. Focus Group Report (see related on qualitative research. (4 A4 max)

8. Presentation of methods - see related module on qualitative research. (1 pdf file)

Ground Rules for Presentations

Everyone should be present in the class at the starting time listed in the schedule.

To minimize change-over time, presenters should have one laptop connected, with access (through the network or USB stick or hard disc) to the presentations of each team.

In preparing your presentations, make sure you describe:

It helps if the whole group is interactive, so you can learn from each other's experiences. So ask questions, share your thoughts about the work of other people.

One rule is though to remain constructive even when you are offering critique. You can inquire about the rationale of other people's work, suggest shortcomings, offer alternatives, but do so in a helpful manner that does not become personal.