If you work in a field like human factors and usability research, the question “so what do you do for a living?” is rarely simple to answer. When I began my design internship at Design Science in the spring of 2018, explaining this type of research was a common challenge I faced. Although I was new, I found I wasn’t alone when it came to explaining everything the company had to offer.
While working at Design Science through the Drexel University co-op program, I had the opportunity to work across many arenas, including branding, graphic design, photography, and data visualization for usability studies. In addition, I was encouraged to take on a personal project of my choice. When I was considering what to do for this side project, I came back to this challenge that Design Science employees face: how we can clearly explain human factors research to someone who’s unfamiliar with the field?
Coming from an outsider perspective, I wanted to create a simple and easy way for anyone to understand what we do. I’ve always loved film and animation as a medium for teaching and storytelling, so I decided to make a short and engaging video that could give you all the basics in just under two minutes. What types of research do we do? How does it work? And most importantly, why do we need to do it?
I began my process by reaching out to employees at Design Science, interviewing them about what they do and how they describe their process. To create the script, I distilled their answers down to the very basics so it was easily digestible. It was also important to introduce how design with (or without) consideration of human factors can play a role in our everyday lives. You can see how the animation turned out below!
I find that animation is a fantastic learning tool because the graphics are more simplified, colorful, and eye-catching than traditional videos. The medium also allows for more creative freedom when explaining concepts.
All the characters and sets were created in Adobe Illustrator and brought into Adobe After Effects for animation. Currently you can find the video on Youtube or catch it playing in our office lobby!