In the previous article, we looked at the Spectrum of Interactivity and Levels of Commitment, with the aim of having working models to design interactive streams and MILEs for. The 1st article also looked at Viewer-Types.
This last article in the mini-series is a little more workshop focused. The 1st part will look at the rationale behind the exercises, with the 2nd part containing the material examples you can use as references.
Personas are a useful tool in marketing circles to humanize a user journey – we are no longer looking at just base needs but considering a believable person at the other end.
When looking at personas for viewers, the recommendation is to split them across different personalities (ie. Viewer-Types) and then think on how their interactivity and commitment with the experience function.
A partial checklist for this:
- What is the primary viewer-type assigned to the persona?
- What is their main driver from taking part?
- Why are they engaging with the experience? How?
- Do they evolve over time as they interact with the experience or simply stay similar in use regardless of time passed?
- Do they care about the specific experience or more about others in it?
In an ideal setting, needs would be considerate of the three aspects – Viewer-Type, Spectrum of Interactivity and Levels of Commitment. However, doing matrix design can be very challenging and likely overkill. Instead, the recommendation would be to do tables based on two of these factors that make sense in context.
Below, you will find some example personas and needs-fulfillment tables. Please look at these at your leisure and you are more than welcome to reach out to the team at Genvid for further help and discussion (You can join our Discord Server for this purpose).
As a note – these are examples and were not used in the projects they mention.
Ollie is a Pac-Man Community Participant that is an Opportunist
Ollie is an older adult with responsibilities that create a lot of dead time throughout the day but who cannot necessarily meet up easily with their friends in person due to a lack of regularity in their schedule. They were browsing Facebook partly to scroll, partly to find something, when they fell on Pac-Man Community as a suggested game. They know and trust the Pac-Man franchise, so they clicked and joined.
They decided to click a little bit around when on Pac-Man Community. They started with Quick Play to see what the MILE is about and did ok. They tried it once again, noticing different user mazes on their playthroughs. They however did not want to create mazes, since while they know and appreciate Pac-Man they aren’t a huge fan of the series and it felt like too much effort.
They also tried the watch mode – they like putting something up while cooking that they can pay attention to on and off, so it works for them once in a while.
Ollie likes that it is Pac-Man because with other games on Facebook, their friends usually don’t want to play with them when they share an invitation; but Pac-Man tends to make people accept these more often, so hosting a game gives them an opportunity to reconnect with their friends and gets Ollie to stick around, appreciating the social nature of the experience.
Alexis is a The Walking Dead: Last Mile participant that is an Aesthete
Alexis loves The Walking Dead franchise – they are mainly interested in how the experience plays out for The Last Mile and has set expectations as to how things should develop based on their enjoyment of the show and the Telltale games.
They are a working adult with a small amount of responsibility towards others but that is generally free to spend their set leisure time at will on this MILE. They will engage via their phone, tablet or computer depending on the time of the day and where they are.
Alexis is going to log in to check how the story progresses frequently but not reliably so – they’ll do it a few days a week. They are going to consume the video content voraciously, checking all the story beats, recaps and highlights. Once in a while, they’ll take part in the activities to experience the way the world is built more closely.
Alexis is generally not interested in a particular bid outcome or in a Cameo. They will watch from start to finish, appreciate that other fans directed the action and be happy following the development of a new canon in the franchise.
Terry is a The Walking Dead: Last Mile participant that is a Supporter
Terry joined The Walking Dead: Last Mile after seeing that one of their favorite actresses is a hostess for the MILE. They are a young adult in the later years of their studies towards the completion of a masters and generally can choose when to engage in their free time.
After checking the MILE a bit and trying different activities, they get really engrossed in the story of The Plant faction and specifically the characters Tara, Wyatt & Sara. They usually log in daily (5 out of 7 days) to check if the ongoing bids concern one of these characters and will skip the ones that don’t to save their influence points up.
They usually have heavier participation when one of the three is in one of the major story sections, playing some of the minigames / activities; they’ll also go out of their way to check the side stories with these characters. If there is no content with one of the three, they will simply log off.
They will always log in to watch the live recap, not wanting to miss it. However, they appreciate being able to play the video on demand on the one week they couldn’t tune in due to an assignment deadline.
Cameron is a Rival Peak participant that is a Co-Active user
Cameron found Rival Peak because they were specifically curious about MILEs – they usually enjoy watching Reality TV and tuned in regularly to see who would be voted off and who would stay. The promise of being able to interact with other audience members drew them further into the experience.
Cameron is an adult that usually likes to really devote themselves when they have time off rather than engage periodically; they are big fans of the ability to check out all the characters at will and take part in as many Audience Participation Events as possible, since that plays into their desire to be intense when they do have the ability to log in.
For them, they don’t necessarily have a character they are rooting for – rather, they like that the audience is shaping the action and that they can do so too. The twists and turns of the story interest them because it means they have new ways to interact with the action. They also particularly like the weekly recaps because of the high energy of these.
Needs-fulfillment tables examples
Example Type / Interactivity table around The Walking Dead: The Last Mile
|Type / Spectrum
|Daily Login Bonus
|Minigames / Activities (for self)
|World Evolving over time
|Recaps / Highlights viewing
|Story archive and visual novel deep dives
|Check how your favorite characters / faction are / is doing
|Bidding on outcomes
|Minigames / Activities (for specific outcome)
|A wide variety of content available to check at leisure / on VOD
|Look at leaderboards / click on minor story beats
|Minigames / Activities (for shared goal)
Type / Interactivity for Needs Fulfillment
Now, If you were developing an interactive viewer experience, how would you serve each viewer type at their desired spectrum of interactivity?
|Type / Interactivity
Type / Commitment for Login Cycles
And how would you serve the needs of each viewer type based on their level of commitment?
|Type / Commitment
Interactivity / Commitment for Mechanics Fit
Then finally, how would you serve your viewers based in the intersection of their desired level of interactivity and level of commitment?
|Interactivity / Commitment