Over the years the notion of sustainability has become part of the common vocabulary, despite this we are aware of the gap to a sustainable balance. Communication has always played a key role in the attempt to mobilize people to build a better future; projects and initiatives have followed one another, and the analysis of these productions has beeen an important part of this work. The research phase lasted several months; it all started by gathering extracts of events, patterns and behavioral analysis with the aim of enhancing the perceptual lens through which one can process the rest. This was followed by the analysis of the communication for sustainability through studies and comparisons of different strategies and approaches. The recurrence of social, behavioral and cultural topics have provided an excellent opportunity to broaden the horizons and delve into the analysis of the subjects of Behavioral design, Design fiction and Interaction design. With the working frame set, the scenario was built like a board of case studies, designers and artists selected for their relevance and presented in a way that highlights the connections between them and with the general topics of the analysis.
A Design Fiction project that makes tangible a sustainable future, and the imagery that would permeate our society, through a futuristic virtual reality simulation.
bit.ly/imagin-action is an interactive website that simulates the virtual reality that might exist ten years from now (2023-2033). The users can freely navigate the 3D environment and find the apps they currently use on a daily basis, which have been chosen to put the user at ease and lead them to notice how these communicate different messages from the present. The trends of the major apps were studied in order to design a future version of them. The messages and values to be communicated were matched with the most suitable respective communication tools. Areas related to different interests, from music, news, personal chats, to social videos, etc., were made to reach a diverse target audience.
The 3D environment created can be navigated with controls similar to those used the video games in which you control a character. Different ways of interacting with the experience were designed and tested according to the different device type. The number of clicks required to start the experience was minimized to simplify the user experience as much as possible. Each interactive element is highlighted by its shape and arrangement, but also through changes in materials, lighting, and pointer animations when hovered.
The design brings to life a sustainable future in which society benefits from all the environmental, social, and economic advantages of sustainability. The colors, the environments, and the tone of voice are designed to reassure and intrigue the user. Having completed the free exploration of the various areas, the visitors can choose to enter the final part of the experience that will bring them back to the present. Animations, colors, and environments change drastically to support the narrative that highlights the dystopian features of the present. Topics are provided for the user to reflect on, real aspects and news of the present in contrast to the desirable sustainable future staged.
Originality, interactivity, and ease of immersion are all aspects that were widely appreciated by the project's testers. In general, the in-depth testing phase enabled the collection of a great amount of useful feedback on usability and storytelling, which has led to a subsequent phase of redesign and improvement of the experience.