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 PaperResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


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 '12
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2012 - Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jun 201215 Jun 2012 (Proceedings)


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • film
  • invisible design
  • older adults
  • participatory design

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