Innovation Lab's Blockchain Narrative
Storyboarding Workshop | April 2017
Demonstrating Innovation Lab’s move from being “just a bank”, to an innovator in all types of life transactions.
Imaging a future where all your services are seamlessly connected.
Partnering with Innovation Lab (alias name), a Japanese financial bank services client based in Tokyo, Tigerspike was asked to help imagine a future where blockchain replaces conventional authentication. They were interested in its ability to record and transfer data faster and safer within a decentralized framework while protecting a user's information, a technology concept that holds promise for the future and is already disrupting many industries. They wanted to explore Blockchain’s ability to allow the seamless communication between cars, profile data, IoT, and commerce services with the goal of creating a 2-3min video storyboard for a product concept film to demonstrate the user-value of these concepts.
New York to Tokyo (3 weeks discovery project)
Joining Tigerspike's Tokyo team, I was brought on to imagine high level interactions beyond the screen and to define a story narrative that the Japanese audience can understand and relate to. Partnering with a UX consultant, I ideated scenarios and established a storyline from insights that were gathered through a discovery workshop with 14+ stakeholders. We were tasked to deliver 10-15 rough storyboards that showcase blockchain technology as a final delivery to be given to Innovation Lab's film production department.
So What Is Blockchain?
It is A distributed database that is robust and incorruptible.
As the backbone of the digital currency bitcoin, blockchain is a digital ledger that uses cryptography to secure information and requires computer processing power to validate data.
An Automated System
A network that provides a self-auditing ecosystem.
Creating a system that is free of machine and human errors, information is transparent and embedded within the network that incentivizes computers to compete against each other to validate data.
A Decentralized Database
Providing data that is accessible to anyone on the internet.
Decentralization means the network is hosted by millions of participating computers synonymously receiving identical blocks of information such as transactions.
A framework that is global and collaborative.
By storing data across its network, blockchain eliminates the risks and vulnerability that come with data being held centrally. Operating on a user-to-user basis and not controlled by any single entity, blockchain cannot by exploited by hackers since transactions or “blocks” are permanently timestamped and added to its preceding history (chain).
Check out these resources:
Get an in-depth blockchain 101 overview:
Learn about how blockchain encryption works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_160oMzblY8
INNOVATION LAB'S BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORM
AUTOMATED DIGITAL AUTHENTICATION
For people who have a need to easily verify their identity with many services.
Blockchain is an ID verification and payment platform that seamlessly interacts with all your IoT devices and services
Unlike Facebook or Paypal, Blockchain is a decentralized database making it robust and flexible
Conducting a stakeholder workshop, we established the product value area and then created a user flow to identify primary user archetypes and possible key functionalities. We then gathered requirements for both the film and the product to establish delivery expectations.
Personas & Journey mapping
Creating scenarios, we crafted our personas and then mapped their journey to understand the user tasks, pain points, and goals. We ideated solutions that looked at improving connections between services and identified possible business opportunities for Innovation Lab such as providing users the option to purchase car insurance through the app.
Since there were many stakeholders (all with various ideas), I created a set of questions to capture common themes, concerns, and most importantly to generate as many ideas as possible. These insights would later feed into our journey map and key scene sketching sessions through sketching.
User Personas: The Borrower & The Lender
We discovered through sketches that the stakeholders gravitated towards the use case of a typical suburban mother. Not only would the mother's everyday frustrations showcase many applications for blockchain technology to solve, she also appeals as an emotional and relatable subject to focus on. Collectively, we decided to focus on her narrative instead of the lender's narrative.
Gathering common ideas from our questionnaires and sketching sessions, we rated each of the stakeholders concepts against the metrics ‘new/useful/feasible’ along with how relevant they were to Innovation Lab’s current position in their market. The ideas that were rated the highest factored into our storyboarding phase.
Translating Sketches into a Narrative.
Do concept films need a narrative? No, many of the best concept films do not although they do need a very strong proposition. If the goal was to tap into consumer's emotional appeal, we needed to create a narrative that was not only simple and engaging, but that describes:
Who the product is for
Why someone would use it
What the product is innovating and
How it’s better than the competition.
Drafting the Narrative Backbone
Consolidating and organizing the key scene sketches from the workshop, I organized them into a timeline with a description that conveys how our user (the borrower) will interact with Innovation Lab’s blockchain features. This was then presented back to the client to make sure we were aligned on the story structure. The next step was to discuss how to make this narrative more convincing.
What Makes A Good Story?
I followed some basic rules of thumb for storyboarding.
Stories are CHARACTER-DRIVEN.
Characters are GOAL-DRIVEN.
Goals can CHANGE.
and....CONFLICT IS KEY!
Conducting an internal workshop with our Japanese co-workers, I explored different cultural themes to generate ideas on what a relatable problem incentive would be. One of the themes was 'Kanreki', a celebration for when an elder turns 60, but it was too traditional for our client. They wanted something that was relatable, yet modern. 'Hanami', a cherry blossom festival, was another concept I introduced, but we were having trouble coming up with realistic user incentives for this motif.
I ended up going forward with a child's birthday setting because it had the flexibility to create interesting incitement moments between the mother and child. In retrospect, drawings of a mother and child were a common theme I observed in the stakeholder sketches.
Story Mapping Ideation Process
After establishing a birthday theme, I needed to generate ideas on why our user had to borrow a car.
Maybe her infant toddler destroyed the birthday cake? Perhaps more children are attending the birthday and there isn't enough food? Suppose her husband took the vehicle for work leaving the mother with no available transportation?
Wanting to create a sense of urgency, I introduced a limited time component that our user had to compete against. I wanted to craft a relatable scenario that would drive our user to choose Innovation Lab's car sharing app over a taxi, a bike, or other forms of transport to solve her problem. The goal was to have our viewers feel empathy for the mother and see Innovation Lab as the hero of the story.
KEY PRODUCT CONCEPTS
Along with the storyboards, I delivered two visual mock concepts to illustrate what the user interface could look like for the products Innovation Lab wanted to feature.
Innovation Lab’s blockchain could help secure & authenticate users of 3rd-party apps and services. This would streamline sign-in across multiple services, and provide a robust and secure authentication standard.
Blockchain could authenticate users through biometric data analysis such as:
1. Fingerprint identification
2. Face recognition
3. Retina scan
4. Voice analysis
Blockchain-Powered Car Insurance Concept
With the user authenticated via the blockchain, Innovation Lab can safely and seamlessly deliver many of its products without requiring multiple sign-ins.