To design an interactive storybook for The Three Little Pigs on Kinect, including the visuals, audio and a cohesive set of gestural inputs for interacting with the storybook. For our final deliverable we gave a presentation on the Microsoft campus to share our concepts.
For our design solution we wanted to use the Kinect in new ways to keep the romance of reading alive, encouraging the parent-child reading experience. We were inspired by comic books and stories that break the fourth wall, so we included this in our overall design. The storybook uses kinetic typography and playful graphics to keep the child engaged as they are reading the story. If a child is curious about the meaning of a word, they can raise their hand and move it over to highlight the text. A narrator will read the word aloud to them and explain the meaning. This same action is taken with items within the storybook, and will relate those items to words within the story.
To develop our concept we conducted secondary research through examining both articles and research studies about parent-child reading. From our research we discovered three design ideas that guided our thinking.
When children are read to they tend to ask questions about words and ideas that are unfamiliar to them. Children’s storybooks are the primary source for exposing young children to new words, and by learning new vocabulary, children develop better reading comprehension skills and can better understand the story. We maintained this interaction in our design through the hand raising gesture, which allows them to select words in the story and understand their meaning.
Children search for context clues to make sense of unknown words. For young readers picture clues are especially important. By pairing the printed word with corresponding pictures children are able to establish a relationship between the two.
Children love hearing their favorite stories over and over again. Studies show that children are better able to recall and retain information if they are read the same book repeatedly. From this finding we chose to incorporate predictable outcomes in our design in the hopes of increasing awareness, engagement, and understanding of the story.
Through our development process we also focused on taking advantage of the Kinect’s sensing abilities. We found that the Kinect sensor can detect if the user is standing or sitting. We realized posture can reflect a child’s desired level of involvement in the story, so when a child sits down the Kinect responds to their more “restful” state by lowering the necessary level of engagement.
To iterate through our concepts, each week we created a storyboard, small video clip, and presentation to receive peer review and critique on our ideas.
video production & editing