This week I had a good ol chat with Doctor Cameron Cliff. He develops multiplatform experiences and uses storytelling to solve strategic and organizational problems. From immersive, interactive theatrical productions that explore themes like loneliness or the lives of refugees, to the experience journey of online educational modules.
Cameron received his Ph.D. researching how multi-modal storytelling (then called transmedia) can facilitate perceived co-creation, community, and ownership of content and thus create a more fully engaging media. We discuss how emotion and narrative can work together with interactive and immersive design to create an unforgettable user experience. Experience design can lead to strong emotional connections through the feeling of perceived co-creation, choice, and agency.
I love talking to Cameron about how to engage audiences to ride an emotional rollercoaster, but of course, it is imperative that it is done safely and with the consent of the viewer. We discuss at length what it means to invoke emotional responses and how they can be successfully implemented through experience design.
I've linked in the video of the episode below and it is also available on all the podcast platforms so feel free to have a listen for yourself.
What I learned
This interview taught me the value of allowing co-creation into your design experience. Cameron has had extensive experience in the power and effect that a sense of agency has on an audience member.
How I will improve
I would love to design an interactive PDF mystery that hides the decision-making mechanism to the extent that the player feels as if they are creating the story as they move through it. My is inspiration is telling me to use The Sophie Valentine Mysery or my Time Travel Narrative to practise this creation.
However, in the interest of quickly making content, perhaps I should just create a simple version of this to test the theory: choice = agency = enjoyment.