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Using Video in Design

Panos Markopoulos

November 2013

The aim of this module (40 hrs) is for students to familiarize with the use of Video for Interaction Design.

After this module students should be able to:





Work to do this day

Mon 2.12



·         Panos discusses how video can be used in fieldwork, focusing on Video Contextual Interviews

·         Panos introduces the mini project






Assignment 1: "Ethics Lies and Video Tape"

·         Prepare interview plan.

·         Shoot at least 2 Interviews for Mini Project

·         Prepare 15' presentation per group (max) including the video screening. You should cover your interview plan, your findings, your reflections upon how you did it and a representative extract from the interview footage.

·         Read paper by Raijmakers et al.


Tue 3.12


·         USI’s present Assignment 1: Contextual Video Interview Presentations (10' per team)

·         Panos introduces Video Prototyping methodology

·         Read paper by W. Mackay.

Wed 4.12




·         USI’s present assignment 2 (1 brainstorm sketch per person)

·         Read Vertelney's paper


·         Assignment 2. "Minority Report"

Video brainstorm exploring novel forms of interaction.


Thu 5.12


No meeting today

Panos is available for questions between 10-11 at HG.2.54

Read STARFIRE paper and watch the video - as a preparation for shooting your own.

Assignment 3: "The Truman Show"

Synthesize and refine your favoured design concept; prepare a storyboard and props, shoot video prototype.

Deliverable To be delivered at the end of the course: your edited video (max 4')

Prepare a presentation of 12' per team: show your video and discuss your choices 

Fri 6.12


Presentation Assignment 3

Deadline for deliverable:  DVD with the following contents 

  • README file with DVD content
  • edited version of 2 interviews, copy of the signed consent form, and interview plan.
  • edited version of video brainstorms (guideline roughly 60 sec each file)
  • edited version of your final video prototype (guideline 4-5 min)
  • powerpoint or pdf files of all your presentations



Use video prototyping to explore the following general area:

How wearables can enhance every day experiences of people: having a healthy lifestyle, or enjoying digital collections of pictures at home. You should not be worried of ensuring whether something is feasible or not in current technology, but try to avoid science fiction. We aim for solutions that in principle should be possible to build with today's technology or in about 5 year’s time.

You are invited to take any area that interests you, and use video as a tool for understanding people and conveying this understanding in a video scenario. Also, use video to capture design ideas in brainstorming, and to represent a fully worked out interaction design.

The project is broken down in 3 assignments: Interviewing, Brainstorming, and Prototyping.

More information will be presented in class.

All written documents and videos should be delivered on the final day of the module on a DVD.



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

2.      Bas Raijmakers, William W. Gaver, and Jon Bishay. 2006. Design documentaries: inspiring design research through documentary film. In Proceedings of the 6th conference on Designing Interactive systems (DIS '06). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 229-238. DOI=10.1145/1142405.1142441

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

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

3.      Jordan, Brigitte and Austin Henderson. 1995. "Interaction Analysis: Foundations and Practice." The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(1): 39-103.


Past Runs of this course

2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2012 fall,