The Lighthouse; an interactive documentary. The application of user centred, responsive and interactivity design theory and practice to the case study of the Lighthouse Interactive Documentary

Gaynor, Helen Mary 2019, The Lighthouse; an interactive documentary. The application of user centred, responsive and interactivity design theory and practice to the case study of the Lighthouse Interactive Documentary, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Gaynor.pdf Thesis application/pdf 24.39MB
Gaynor_Website_Design_Plans.pdf Project application/pdf 12.62MB
Title The Lighthouse; an interactive documentary. The application of user centred, responsive and interactivity design theory and practice to the case study of the Lighthouse Interactive Documentary
Author(s) Gaynor, Helen Mary
Year 2019
Abstract This practice-led research provides documentary filmmakers with a theoretical and practical basis to understand and design for interactive documentary in the digital medium. This project contributes to the fields of interactive documentary, documentary and interactivity design. This study is centred on the design of the Lighthouse Interactive Documentary that articulates the delivery program and methods of the Lighthouse Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation. The site is primarily designed for specific users, to enable social change in the area of youth welfare and housing. The study focuses on the interactive documentary form within the context of networked and software driven computational devices.

The aim of my research is to provide traditional documentary filmmakers like myself with a theoretical framework and methods to design for this environment which interactive designer Janet Murray (2011) names 'the digital medium'. Murray identifies the affordances of the digital medium as being procedural, participatory, spatial and encyclopaedic. This study examines these affordances in relation to the design decisions available to documentary makers who are using interactive techniques. The study also addresses definitions, types and implications of interactive documentary and the new skills required by the person formerly known as the filmmaker in the design of these projects.

My research demonstrates user centred, responsive and interactivity design as an effective response to the needs of the filmmaker moving into interactive documentary design. The literature review provides the historic and contextual overview, including documentary, software and communications theory. The theory and practice of user centred, responsive and interactivity design is then applied to two case studies of interactive websites. One belongs to the Berry Street Organisation and the other is an independent site, Here At Home hosted by the National Film Board of Canada and co-produced by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Both sites address issues of housing for vulnerable people, including youth. The theoretical framework and findings from the case studies are then applied to my design and analysis of the Lighthouse Interactive Documentary site.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Subjects Interactive Media
Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Keyword(s) documentary
interactive documentary
interactivity
interactivity design
user centred design
responsive design
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Created: Thu, 19 Dec 2019, 08:24:01 EST by Keely Chapman
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