The Stornaway.io team are always being asked advice on how to make interactive videos better. How does someone who has never made an interactive video begin?
We designed Stornaway.io authoring tools with that in mind.
To let producers of all kinds plan out, storyboard and play their ideas through immediately before they start uploading videos or thinking about advanced features like hotspots, game logic and flashy buttons!
Here we summarise some of what we have learned from the experts.
1 Interactive content is a conversation in which your audience is actively involved and waiting for you to ask them questions. They’re leaning forward and “in the room with you” – so plan your ideas like you’re talking to someone directly.
2 Playfulness is key, so keep it short They’ll be waiting for the next question or choice and wondering what would have happened if they’d chosen differently – so give them a chance to replay and try out different paths.
3 Map ideas before you shoot video. A huge bonus of Stornaway.io is that you can map out ideas with text and then play immediately to see how it feels as a player, even before you have any video to upload.
4 What tone of voice are you using? How do you want to talk to your audience? Directly? Talking to camera? As a voiceover? With text on screen? With just pictures and buttons?
5 Cut to the chase! A common first-time mistake is to make a long intro, over-explaining and trying to set everything up at the beginning. Viewers will have come to this expecting to engage immediately. Get stuck in quickly and prompt the viewer for a response as soon as possible.
6 Make choices satisfying Acknowledge and reward your viewer by recognising the choices they make in some way, so it seems like what they are choosing makes a difference.
7 Break out of binary thinking with more than 2 choices Stop your audience thinking there is a “Right” choice, by giving them more than just “Yes” and “No” answers. A great benefit of this form is exploring complexity in interesting ways.
8 Play with their expectations and surprise them They will be trying to anticipate you, too!
9 Try it out on friends Stornaway.io lets you immediately see how engaging and understandable your own story. Try it out on others and watch their reactions, then make changes accordingly.
10 Have fun! As one creator said, “It’s a constant learning curve and a really fun one to go on. Roll your sleeves up and have a play. It feels like playing a game – it’s really fun!”