Doodle by Cheryl Lowry, Content Strategy Manager at Facebook.
As Virtual Reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies emerge, a world of content “beyond the screen” is here. Content strategists and storytellers need to understand the evolution of how people will engage in these new immersive and spatial experiences. Thinking through what role empathy has in VR design and how to apply new contextual tools will be key to successful and engaging experiences.
On June 4, 2016, the Communication Leadership graduate program hosted an intimate, participative masterclass, titled “Content Strategy Beyond the Screen: How VR and IoT will change storytelling” to explore these very themes. Guided by the program’s director, Hanson Hosein, attendees learned about the history and current state of media-evoked experiences from Charlie Sutton, VR Designer for Facebook, and about voice-enhanced applications and development platforms from Noelle LaCharite, Solutions Architect and Evangelist for Amazon Alexa and Echo. The second half of the day was devoted to immersive learning and modeling via interactive workshops led by industry content strategy experts.
ABOUT THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Charlie Sutton is a Product Design Manager at Facebook working on VR and immersive experiences. For more than 15 years, Charlie has led teams creating new products and services, with a focus on interaction design for mobile devices. His career at Apple, Nokia and Samsung has covered a diverse range of experiences – from smartphones, laptops and tablets – to sensors, location platforms and augmented reality. Charlie is also passionate about design education, and is currently a Senior Lecturer at California College of the Arts. His #BeyondScreen presentation dove into both the cultural and mechanical history of Virtual Reality and explained the social constraints that challenge the design of media-evoked experiences. View Charlie’s slides here.
Noelle LaCharite is a Solutions Architect and Evangelist for Amazon Alexa. She engages with Alexa developers, architects, hardware engineers and project managers to facilitate the integration of Alexa into their products and services. She has broad experience in the design, development, deployment, and support of enterprise service-oriented applications. Noelle also has a deep understanding of JEE and their supporting technologies, and experience applying these technologies to solve real-world problems. She has spoken at many technical events and conferences such as Chef Conference, Girls Who Code, RedHat Summit and JavaOne. She develops demonstrations, white papers and tutorials and has been a presenter at many technical conferences and seminars. Her #BeyondScreen presentation explored the impact voice and connected device integration into everyday routines and showcased the ease of creating new experiences on the Amazon Alexa API. Download Noelle’s slides here.
In the latter half of the day, attendees applied the keynote concepts to real-world design challenges. Under the guidance of Facebook’s Content Strategist Andrea Zeller and Content Strategy Manager Cheryl Lowry (both of whom helped create Comm Lead’s “Storytelling & Content Strategy Online Certificate” program), groups developed perspective content strategies for a variety of scenarios – everything from firefighting to wine-tasting and public speaking. Comm Lead alum, strategist and Informed Futurist writer Evan Westenberger, and specially-selected Table Captains helped facilitate the process as attendees mapped physical world phenomena to digital experiences, and crafted empathetic virtual reality and connected Amazon Echo solutions.
“Our group created a virtual cookbook that allowed people to interface with all the cooking and cultural aspects of a Luau. How does one prepare, curate and develop a living meal? What I found particularly fascinating was the implementation of agency, presence and empathy in a design strategy.” ~ Scott Macklin, Comm Lead Associate Director & Table Captain
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