Final blog post

Ladies and gentlemen our interactive documentary is live and running.

To see the final result go to:



Blog entry #4 Creating a story world using characters, situations, experiences and insight

This week we focused on Multimedia storytelling and how important it is to interactive documentaries in general. If an interactive documentary doesn’t include the right type of interaction then its purpose will be lost.

Photo Journalist Dave la Bette once said “Being a Journalist is one part journalist, one part psychologist and one part artist.” Our Features lecturer Matthew Charles adapted this quote for interactive documentary makers, saying “we are one part filmmaker and one part graphic designer.” Therefore there will be many aspects to the documentary which will need to be successful and carefully staged.

The video has to be effective, creative and push the boundaries, there’s a difference between news packages and documentaries!

The audio needs to be focused, natural sound can be effective but you want to create a sense of location through your choice of audio.

Our objective is therefore clear: we need to create a story world our users can interact with and for this to be successful the characters, situations, experiences and insight need to be well framed, and believable.

This weeks seminar gave us the chance to pitch our stories to the other documentary groups, who provided us with some useful feedback.

They were confused about who our experts might be, these are going to be event organizers, organizers of dating sites, and psychologists with an insight into Gingerism. They asked why dating is important to the documentary: As a group we are trying to get a personal element across in the documentary, ginger haired people are discriminated against for personal reasons after all. Dating is a massive part of everyday life, so people will be able to relate to the issues ginger haired people face and become aware how difficult it can sometimes be, and the discrimination they face whilst dating.

The other groups were worried that perhaps it would be an information overload, to avoid this we are going to try and make it as visual and interactive as possible.

Some final feedback we received was that we need more authority in our documentary- so emotive tales and we need to explain some basic science to the audience, for example that people are ginger due to a gene in their body.



Blog entry #3 Social Media Policy

Our social media policy will hope to maximize emergence by distributing our project through Twitter updates, a facebook page, links to discrimination forums, the content on this blog and an interactive documentary. We will construct this in such a way that each element will link to one and other. However you can enter at any element and will be able to participate in discussions and follow the interactive documentary from any point.

This should achieve a positive emergence whereby the user has the power to decide when or if they choose to comment on the production page. It should also give the social media aspect life from different points. So if a user didn’t have a twitter account, for example, they will still be able to participate in discussions via other means.

We will post video’s of ginger discrimination and testimonials, along with other statistics, in an effort to get people to flock to the subject. Through creating discussions on these posts we will try and achieve an atmosphere where people debate and analysis the topic of ginger discrimination. However should anyone negatively separate themselves from the discussion by using discriminatory language, for example, we shall exclude them from the comments.

By posting on relevant discrimination forums, facebook and twitter we will aim to pull people into our subject. From here we will encourage users to collaborate with our project and offer their experiences and comments, in addition to providing their own video’s etc of discrimination.

Overall we aim to develop a social media design that promotes participation and interest from any corner of the web, coming together with the common goal of recognizing ginger discrimination as a serious issue and with a view of raising the profile and knowledge of the debate.



Blog entry #2 Keeping Norman’s 6 principles in focus

Our documentary will take inspiration from Norman’s 6 design principles to make it as effective as possible.

The principles: Visibility, Feedback, Constraints, Mapping, Consistency, Affordance…

We aim to make our documentary as visual as possible as we understand it is easy for the audience to become bored or frustrated. Our interface of choice is a bedroom, which will have objects the audience can click on and interact with for example mobile phones. Regarding video, we aim to interview several people who have faced discrimination for having red hair in their life and use footage from popular culture.

Regarding the feedback principle there will always be the option for the audience to skip a section or return to the main interface, this will eliminate the possibility of replaying scenes. Whilst engaging in the documentary there will also be different outcomes from the choices made by the audience to keep them interested.

We will however constrain user action, at times they will have the limited options of skipping a scene or returning to the interface on the other hand a few of the sections will require more participation from the audience.

All of the buttons we will include shall be highlighted and clearly labelled so the audience are aware of this choice. We also aim to keep the decisions and text featured in specific sections as simple as possible, so the audience can interact easily with a rehearsed impression of what the outcome will be.

Entry #1 Topic, Interface and Roles

We as a group have decided to focus our interactive documentary on the discrimination faced by red haired people in the UK. The team decided to follow this idea after one of our members, Fauve Vertegaal, who coincidentally has red hair explained the challenges she has faced along with red haired people as a whole and how it is an unaddressed issue.

Gingerism: the forgotten discrimination aims to put the audience in the position of a red-haired individual to open their eyes to the discrimination they face on a daily basis.

We will be creating our interactive documentary through the software Klynt…

At the centre of our documentaries interface will be a bedroom with a variety of clickable objects, for example by clicking a mobile phone the audience will be taken to a dating simulation, where they will experience the difficulties red haired people face when dating. We aim to use the clickable objects in the bedroom to not only create a personal experience but as an access points to a number of situations and forms of discrimination.

To complete this interactive documentary the team has split the workload through a number of specific roles;

Joe Papworth, Project director

Sam Beamish, Social media producer

Jeffrey Buchanan, Content producer

Fauve Vertegaal, Content producer

Rachel Hocking, Web Editor/ graphic designer