When I first thought about, and investigated digital storytelling, the focus was on an individual’s experience provided through a TED Talk or about a place that had been abandoned. As a designer and visual communicator, I began to wonder how else digital storytelling could be used. I searched around and discovered that companies are increasingly using digital storytelling to introduce and sell products. Digital storytelling is being used all around us to promote brands by connecting with us, keeping our attention, and eliciting an emotional response. Is this new? No, of course not, but it is more thoughtful and engaging than ever.

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There is an interesting Peugeot digital story presented in a graphic novel format. This story is designed to auto play, or the viewer can scroll through it at their own pace. I highly suggest that you let it run on auto play with the volume on, and a set of headphones makes it better. The background music and sound effects are important and well done. In the beginning I was jarred by the initial action sequence that set the tone for the entire story, but as a warning, don’t turn the volume up too much.

Being that this is a digital story about a specific car technology being presented by Peugeot, there must be a couple of layers to this story. I thought that it was engaging to have the female character be the embodiment of the Hybrid Drive technology. Throughout the story we are connected by different select drive options. This adds a rhythm to the story, which is appreciated. We also hear the car’s voice as we engage these different drive options. There are also different ways to interact visually. Some of the images are static, while others are animated. The direction of the scroll changes too, adding to the engagement factor.

Overall, this digital story is presented very well. The elements used throughout work well together, however, I would’ve liked to have more interaction than just clicking to find out about Peugeot vehicles. It would be nice if the viewer were able to direct the story based on their decisions along the way. There could also be an option to select different environments or scenarios. While this is a departure from digital stories, which I would normally critique, I believe that there are some valuable elements here. This digital story really portrays the importance of composing a script, using storyboards, and pacing. The use of voice is also interesting because we are not given a human voice. The voice is something mechanical and is represented through a female character. Overall, there are elements here that could be used in any digital story.

Using Jason Ohler’s Assessment traits I have decided to critique this digital story using Project Planning, Originality/Voice/Creativity, and Flow/Organization/Pacing. As I addressed earlier, the use of additional interactive tools would have been appreciated. A stronger human element would have created a greater sense of connectedness as well. In conclusion, this is a very well done digital story.

 

Project planning Is there evidence of solid planning, in the form of story maps, scripts, storyboards, etc.? It’s obvious that there was solid planning behind this digital story.The result is an engaging experience which entices the viewer to learn more about Peugeot.
Originality, voice, creativity How creative was the production? Did the student exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective? This story is very creative in the way it’s presented. The direction of the scroll, the cars voice, static and animated slides all contribute.
Flow, organization and pacing Was the story well organized? Did it flow well, moving from part to part without bumps or disorientation, as described in Part III? This digital story flows nicely and is organized well. The areas of the story where a different drive mode is engaged creates a nice pace.
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