Interface in the Experiments

In the two exemplary films I used visual cues inside the frame of the film, so the interface could be reused in DVD production.

In the travel film, the only visual interface element was a simple pyramid marker in the top right corner of the screen.

screenshot from travel film

The shading of the pyramid indicates which version of the film the viewer currently watches; in the short version, only the top of the pyramid would be shaded, in the long version, the whole pyramid is gray.

The wedding film used the illusion of a layer on top of the film (as in Becoming Human. When a footnote is available from the main film sequence, the film moves into an eight-second preview of the footnote. This preview is sepia tinted to set it apart from the rest of the film, and superimposed are the words "Click to see more of x."

screenshot from wedding film

If the user doesn't follow the link, the film returns to normal colors after the preview, and the link is no longer available. If the user does click, the footnote film opens, but in a slightly smaller frame.

screenshot from wedding film

A still from the sepia-tinted preview is visible around the edges to show that what is presently playing is an excursion from the main film. When the footnote is finished, or when the user clicks again, the smaller frame disappears, and the main film stream continues in full color.

One reason that the testers preferred the wedding film was that they found that the visual layering made it easier to keep oriented, but this was not the only reason.

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