Microfiction Experience Prototype



Bring to class on Tuesday Sept. 26:

Select a scene from a film, news article, novel, short microfiction (eg Jennifer Egan’s Black Box), or write you own. Consider what you think to be the core experience of the story, and the emotional core of that experience. How might you simulate a feeling similar to that experience with objects, people and space around you?


In class on Tuesday Sept. 26:

We will break into small groups of 4 between New York and Helsinki (2 students at each location).
Over video chat, groups will present their narrative snippets and conceptualize ways to prototype the experience of the scene.



What is an Experience Prototype?


By the term Experience Prototype, we mean to emphasize the experiential aspect of whatever representations are needed to successfully (re)live or convey an experience with a product, space or system …

Focus on the methods and techniques which support active participation to provide a relevant subjective experience. In discovery, there is a continuum that extends from being told about something, seeing for yourself, to doing it yourself…

We are talking about methods that allow designers and users to “experience it themselves” rather than witnessing a demonstration or someone else’s experience. The questions to ask in this stage are: What are the contextual, physical, temporal, sensory, social and cognitive factors we must consider as we embark on design? What are essential factors that our design should preserve? Experience prototypes build upon people’s own imaginations and the use of proxy devices to recreate the essential elements of a personal experience that would not otherwise be available.

Marion Buchenau and Jane Fulton Suri’s Experience Prototyping [emphasis added]




An example from the design world would be MIT’s Age Lab suit that is meant to simulate what it’s like to have a 70 yr old body.

An example summarized from the article:

Designers created an experience prototype for a design product / service for patients with chest implanted, automatic defibrillators. They wanted to simulate the experience of not knowing when a shock would occur and the impact it would have on people’s lives. The team carried pagers (similar to cell phones w/ buzzer on) for a weekend, were paged at random, and asked to record their circumstances each time, where they were, who with, what doing, and what they imagined it would be like to be shocked off their feet in such a circumstance. After this, discussion ranged from anxiety about everyday activities like holding an infant to working with power tools, to how to communicate to onlookers what was happening.