Tag Archives: design thinking

Transmedia Change — a new volume in the Routledge Advances in Transmedia Studies series

Book cover: Transmedia Change

I’m pleased to announce a forthcoming book (March 2022): Transmedia Change: Pedagogy and Practice for Socially-Concerned Transmedia Stories, my edited volume that includes chapters from 12 international authors on the practice, analysis, and teaching of transmedia storytelling for social good. The official blurb:

This book examines and illustrates the use of design principles, design thinking, and other empathy research techniques in university and public settings, to plan and ethically target socially-concerned transmedia stories and evaluate their success through user experience testing methods.

All media industries continue to adjust to a dispersed, diverse, and dilettante mediascape where reaching a large global audience may be easy but communicating with a decisive and engaged public is more difficult. This challenge is arguably toughest for communicators who work to engage a public with reality rather than escape. The chapters in this volume outline the pedagogy and practice of design, empathy research methods for story development, transmedia logics for socially-concerned stories, development of community engagement and the embrace of collective narrative, art and science research collaboration, the role of mixed and virtual reality in prosocial communication, ethical audience targeting, and user experience testing for storytelling campaigns. Each broad topic includes case examples and full case studies of each stage in production.

Offering a detailed exploration of a fast-emerging area, this book will be of great relevance to researchers and university teachers of socially-concerned transmedia storytelling in fields such as journalism, documentary filmmaking, education, and activism.

Table of contents:

  1. Introduction
    Kevin Moloney
  2. Native, Emergent, and Feral Transmedia Storyworlds
    Kevin Moloney
  3. Design Thinking and the Storytelling Goal
    Sarah Janssen
  4. Deploying Design Thinking for Story Design: Case Studies
    Sarah Janssen
  5. Contextualizing the American Opioid Crisis: A Case Study in Transmedia Harm Reduction
    Matt Slaby
  6. Storylines and Conceptual Lineage: Tomas van Houtryve and the Contextualization of History
    In Conversation with Matt Slaby
  7. Challenging Hegemonic Narratives: Power of Story-Based Design Strategies in Activating Sustainable Social Change
    Francesca Piredda and Mariana Ciancia
  8. Teaching Transmedia Practice in a Design School: The Plug Social TV Experience
    Mariana Ciancia and Francesca Piredda
  9. Transmedia Action Research: Progressive Pedagogy and Community Engagement
    Leslie L. Dodson
  10. Water from Fog: Transmedia Storytelling and Humanitarian Engineering
    Jamila Bargach and Leslie L. Dodson
  11. Encounters: Art, Science, Clouds and Water
    Ana Rewakowicz
  12. Addressing Social Issues Through Immersive Media
    Kuo-Ting Huang
  13. Immersive Storytelling Case Studies: Eva: A-7063, Lesson Learned from That Dragon Cancer, and Coming Home Virtually
    Kuo-Ting Huang
  14. Design Thinking as a Tool for Ethical Audience Targeting
    Kevin Moloney
  15. The Revolutionist: Eugene V. Debs – A Transmedia Experience for Public Media Audiences
    Kyle Travers
  16. User Experience Design and Testing for Socially-Concerned Storytelling
    Jennifer Palilonis
  17. User Experience Case Study: Professor Garfield’s 21st Century Literacy Project
    Jennifer Palilonis
  18. Conclusion: Defining a Flexible Framework for Analysis or Design of Socially-Concerned Transmedia Stories
    Kevin Moloney


An Emerging Media Design and Development Sampler

Center for EMDD

The Creative Projects lab at the Center for Emerging Media Design and Development at Ball State University.

You now have an easy way to sample what we offer at the Center for Emerging Media Design and Development. We’ll be offering a trio of online training sessions through MediaShift‘s DigitalEd platform that showcase the center’s three-pronged approach to 21st-century communication design.

Design Thinking — November 29, 2017, 1:00 PM EST

Dr. Jennifer Palilonis

Understanding and solving complex strategic communication problems

Design thinking is a people-centered approach to problem solving that encourages collaborative brainstorming and diverse ideation through systematic strategies and processes. Used in a variety of fields, from product design to web development, design thinking serves as a powerful model for flexible and dynamic critical thinking that puts the audience/user at the center of idea generation.

In this session, Dr. Jennifer Palilonis will share a number of design thinking strategies and explain how they can be used by communication and media professionals to inspire innovative, engaging approaches to storytelling. Dr. Palilonis will also share how she has used design thinking in a number of diverse projects, from working with USA Volleyball to promote the growth of boys’ and men’s volleyball nationwide, to developing a digital literacy curriculum for K-3 students.

Transmedia Storytelling  — December 13, 2017, 1:00 PM EST

Dr. Kevin Moloney

The mediascape of the 21st century is both a wicked problem and an unlimited opportunity for journalists. At the same time that powerful new storytelling tools have emerged our once-captive audiences have scattered into a dispersed mediascape. We can tell compelling stories like never before. But how do we get those stories in front of the publics that need them?

A transmedia story unfolds in multiple media forms and across many media channels in an expansive rather than redundant way. In this training Dr. Kevin Moloney will examine how Hollywood, Madison Avenue and journalism organizations like National Geographic and The Marshall Project use it to tell better and more complex stories and to reach audiences on the media they already use. We’ll talk about tools for finding those audiences, how to build reporting and publishing partnerships, and the decisions involved in transmedia project design.

User Experience Testing — December 20, 2017, 1:00 PM EST

Megan McNames, Director of User Experience at Emplify.

The rapid pace of technological change drives not only more innovative approaches to storytelling but also new behaviors among story consumers. Understanding how audiences experience media platforms and the stories they deliver is one key to retaining and growing them in a shifting media landscape.

Applied in a wide-range of professions toward goals as diverse as the design of new digital products and improving hospital patient outcomes, user experience testing is an approach to understanding what audiences do and why they do it in order to adapt to their needs and leverage their behaviors. In this training Megan McNames will introduce a number of user experience testing strategies and explain how communication and media professionals can use them to understand readers/users and identify opportunities for growing audiences and engagement with stories. We’ll talk about what user experience testing is and isn’t, which aspects of media platforms and stories can be tested and how to implement tests with an eye toward actionable results.