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Above a bakery in Portland, Oregon, a unique group of storytellers are quietly changing museum and exhibit experiences all over the world. In this Creative Inspirations documentary, we meet Second Story, creators of award-winning interactive projects for clients that include the Getty Museum, National Geographic, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian Institution, just to name but a few.
Founders Julie Beeler and Brad Johnson introduce us to their uniquely talented studio where their signature interactive design is conceived and produced. Second Story creates immersive adventures that educate and entertain through compelling visuals, touch and play, and inspiring participation through curiosity.
We follow the team as they reveal one of their latest triumphs, the Age of Mammals exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, designed to both please the doctorates and the first graders who participate in their finished project.
(Music playing.) Jennifer Guibord: In the studio, while we're working on the user experience and the functional side of things, the design team is also putting together what we call our visual explorations. What we do is we look for inspiration, we look at the exhibit color palette, the graphics that are going in, the style of those, and from that, we put together a package of visual treatments.
These are presented completely devoid of any function. What it is is it's an attempt to pull from internal and external teams what they like and don't like from a visual point of view. So if the director of the museum really hates green, we want to learn this now. We don't want to learn it once we've made a green background that's beautifully integrated into design comps. So by presenting just the visual treatments without the function, that's the sort of feedback that we get.
Heather Daniel: At some point we say, "Great! We got sign off, we're all agreed on the design direction, we're signed off on the wireframes, we know what the user experience is going to be, and now you're not going to hear from us for a while." Now we're going to go make it. That's where we gather all the resources, our team members. Then it's a lot of scheduling. It's a lot of build plans. So that becomes like a very productive part for us internally, but the clients don't really see. There is a kind of a quiet time, and the clients aren't seeing as much until the beta.
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