Invisible Design: Exploring Insights and Ideas through Ambiguous Film Scenarios

Pam Briggs, Mark Blythe, John Vines, Stephen Lindsay, Paul Dunphy, James Nicholson, David Green, Jim Kitson, Andrew Monk, Patrick Olivier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Invisible Design is a technique for generating insights and ideas with workshop participants in the early stages of concept development. It involves the creation of ambiguous films in which characters discuss a technology that is not directly shown. The technique builds on previous work in HCI on scenarios, persona, theatre, film and ambiguity. The Invisible Design approach is illustrated with three examples from unrelated projects; Biometric Daemon, Panini and Smart Money. The paper presents a qualitative analysis of data from a series of workshops where these Invisible Designs were discussed. The analysis outlines responses to the films in terms of; existing problems, concerns with imagined technologies and design speculation. It is argued that Invisible Design can help to create a space for critical and creative dialogue during participatory concept development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS 2012)
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherACM Association for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450312103
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2012
EventDesigning Interactive Systems Conference 2012 - Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jun 201215 Jun 2012

Publication series

NameDIS '12
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems Conference 2012
Abbreviated titleDIS 2012
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • invisible design
  • participatory design
  • older adults
  • film

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