The semester is just about over, and while I should be regrouping, catching up on sleep and spending time with the ones I love, I’ve decided instead to take on a short term engagement doing design research, information architecture reviews, and wireframes for the corporate site at Carnegie Mellon.  They are interested in doing something that brings a sense of agency to the experience of interacting with the site, and I’m interested how we can use narratives to connect corporations to faculty members who are doing some pretty interesting research.  I did similar work for the office of sponsored research earlier this year and enjoyed the opportunity to put my design research methods to work.

Tis the season for job searching as well.  I’m resigned to the fact that I’m not going to have an easy path.  I’m not a pure interaction designer, and when I describe the work I do as an experience designer, the interviewer usually wants to veer down a heavy marketing/PR path.  So I’ve got a lot of poking and prodding, looking for something that combines storytelling, interaction design, experiences, and the role of audience as creating emergent narratives.

It’s out there.  I can feel it.  But until it feels me back, I’m going to tinker with the interwebs.



Poster session this week

5 days until I present my thesis research on “designing transmedia experiences.”  Looking forward to it.

At the end of last semester, I turned in a thesis proposal titled “Reframing the Interaction Designer as Writer & Director of Story Experiences.”  It sounded good. Even marketable, if you ask me.  I hadn’t even really dipped my toe in the transmedia pond–but I recognized that the book as a delivery format was not the future for storytelling. Everywhere I turned, I was finding more and more about companies looking to tell the stories of their products, showing real examples of use through experience.

At some point in the last two weeks, I’ve come round to the idea of interaction designer as writer AND director of transmedia experiences. I dig Brian Clark’s definition of a director, and have repurposed it to explain the role of a transmedia designer as he weaves together the media arts and the performance arts.  He has been one of the biggest inspirations to me thus far, as has my advisors Nick Durrant, Gill Wildman, and Haakon Faste.

The poster is 80%.  As soon as it is 100% I’ll upload it, and report back on how the presentation went.  Between now and then, I’m tweaking, tinkering, and rehearsing. I’ve fleshed out several examples of experience design that utilize unique transmedia story aesthetics as part of a larger story world.  I feel like I’m hanging a tin ceiling–I’ve got the framework, and now it’s time to slowly anchor it, one tile at a time.

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