What does animation and UX have in common? From more simple beginnings with Warner Bros and Disney to the more polished animation houses of Pixar and Dreamworks, animation has been used to communicate humour, adventure, drama and heroics. Characters have been created that are relatable and stories told that are emotive and engaging.
The process of telling great stories involves not just a fantastic imagination but an understanding of the audience. An appreciation of who is consuming their content further guides the story or flow of the animation. The flow of the story is a big collaboration with all the stakeholders, guided by those who consume, but driven by animators who create.
The obvious parallel to be drawn between UX and animation is in understanding the users (those who consume the content), the stakeholders, developing personas (characters) and the flow. Knowing who is going to use or consume guides and informs the design process. More broadly…
Both Animators and UX designers seek to develop journeys that lead to better experiences.
An area of animation that UX could embrace more is the concept of pitching multiple ideas as part of the peer review process. Animators pitch many ideas, flows and concepts to help create a more engaging story. The Dreamworks team have put together an exhibition which showcases how this process works in their teams. The following video example of how the team worked on Shrek shows how storyboards added to the pitching process of the film:
Encouraging multiple designers to develop different approaches to solving complex problems will lead to better customer experiences.It will lead to higher team involvement, broaden skills and foster an environment where ideas, patterns, interactions are tested, critiqued and openly discussed.
So, build in pitching as part of your UX methodology. Use pitching from whiteboard scamps and sketches to low fidelity wireframing and prototypes. Involve, collaborate and create.
Pitching is a fun, collaborative and creative technique. It will lead to better experiences for both the teams you are in as well as the users you are designing for.