I volunteered to give brown bag presentation at Adaptive Path on the mobile media research and concept my team did for Motorola last semester. I really didn’t know what they would think.

The most conversation centered around the value of the scenario video sketch versus a lower fidelity demonstration of the concept. Jesse James Garrett seemed particularly interested in whether I thought the effort put into the production was worth the payoff. I said yes.

Why? Because real people, sound, and a story are more compelling that cartoons.

Incidentally, the same day Jared Spool talked about Apple’s Knowledge Navigator video vs. cartoon scenarios.

“When choosing a presentation format, you’ll want to choose the technique you’ll find easiest to work with. As long as the final product tells the story of user’s ideal experience, you’ll produce a successful envisionment.”

I don’t know about that. Given two equal concepts, the higher fidelity presentation will win over the lower fidelity one. But as an interaction designer, do you have the time or ability to produce something beyond a cartoon experience?

Another question: Can a well-produced presentation give greater weight to a concept that is not as good as another concept that isn’t presented as well? In grad school I’ve seen some nice presentations that impress for their quality, but not so much for the concept, and vice versa.

Perhaps I’m jaded by the competitive nature of my peers and high expectations we have of ourselves at CMU. I have several times gone against Jared’s recommendation above that I choose a technique that I found easiest, instead choosing the one I thought was going to be the most successful, even if it meant I had to teach myself something new.

The goal for me is to have a kick-ass concept coupled by a kick-ass presentation. I don’t see how cartoon scenarios can compare to a good video sketch in communicating the experience.