The screen and the viewer.


What relationship do viewers have with the mobile phone and
what expectations do users have, if any, of content viewed on the
mobile device?

Associations of intimacy with the mobile phone need to taken into
consideration when designing content for the mobile phone.
The small size of the mobile screen may be regarded as a
disadvantage for viewers, but the intimacy imbued upon the mobile
phone by its owners provides a fertile ground for the creation of
narratives that take advantage of this unique user/phone relationship.

The introduction of the mobile device, be it the mobile phone, pda,
or a video ipod; has enabled the viewer to watch a wide range of
content in a variety of non-fixed locations.
The portability of mobile devices offers great spacial flexibility for
the viewing of narratives on small screens, but may pose potential
problems for designers of narrative content for the mobile device.

The portability of the mobile device means that mobile content
creators are unable to determine the environment that content
will be viewed in, and thus the context in which the material is
placed can vary greatly.

For example, a hospital drama may be viewed within a hospital
waiting room, or a hostage film set on a train may have an increased impact
when the viewer is watching the film whilst sitting on a train on this/her
way to work.

This inability to control the time or place of viewing of content poses
many questions for designers of narrative content for the mobile device.
Content designers must ascertain what environmental elements may
impair or compete with the viewing of mobile narratives in public spaces.
Some key questions worth asking are:

How long will a viewer be prepared to watch content on a small screen?
Will audio tracks be heard over ambient noise in the immediate environment?
Will headphones be employed to add value to the viewing experience, and
how does the inclusion of headphones alter the public perception of the functionality
of the mobile phone?
What are the codes and aesthetics that may be employed in the creation of the
narrative based content for the mobile phone?
What scriptwriting techniques may be borrowed from cinema or television
formats and applied/adapted to suit the parameters of mobile media?


~ by Dean on March 1, 2007.

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