After some discussions, we ironed out some issues we had with the mindmap. We have now devised a new 9-stage flowchart for the documentary.
We realised that under the old regime, we would be overcomplicating the user with too many trivial decisions as a result of offering 3 men to interact with so we changed that dynamic to involve 1 man instead. We were starting to obsess over the minor details. We wanted to afford the user roamability, but those so far hadn’t been nourishing to the main purpose of the documentary. Also, our previous roamability didn’t offer replayability, which was also something we needed to achieve. We needed a way of ensuring this didn’t spiral out of control with pointless, time-consuming decisions and also ensuring we aren’t funnelling the user into a rigid skeleton of events.
Finally, there were a number of loose ends, mainly the innocuous way the user comes into contact with the expert and needed to find a better way of producing that. The convenient way the user bumps into a friend also resonated that. It just felt too carefree and rather than fussing about picking our dresses, we should be giving the user important decisions. It was becoming less of a documentary and more of a story – and whilst it should cater as both – we needed better balance.
Stage 1: Intro video and scene setting. The user wakes up and goes about a succinct morning routine leading into the next stage.
Stage 2: The main message interface, giving the user the chance to now speak to just 1 person rather than the original 3. Their motive will be unclear at this stage with generic conversation and their dialogue starting to hint at meeting. The user will have a variety of responses.
Stage 3: Being on the backfoot about meeting, the user has two choices of consultation. They can choose to consult a friend who offers personal experience and advice, or they will conduct a websearch for advice. This will offer 2 different options the user can select at Stage 6, and both will produce the contact for the expert.
Stage 4: After a cut-scene, the user conducts a compulsory phone call to the expert, whose advice will become important in the final decision.
Stage 5: The user receives further contact from the ‘mystery man’, once more they can respond with a number of multiple choice answers which will unveil more about their personality and motive as it develops their character. Ultimately, the user is always agrees to meet the man.
Stage 6: Upon agreeing to the date, the user will be afforded a number of options depending on the choice at stage 3 and this in turn educates the user on potential ways to protect themselves with online dating. This is crucial to offer roamability and replayability. We still need to develop how best to make these payoffs most appealing. For example, one precaution will be to text a friend beforehand so that will be an option.
Stage 7: The user receives a definitive/ultimatum message from the man asking where they should meet.
Stage 8: Based on the advice of the expert, the user can set the location of the date. An open and public place (cafe perhaps), an event surrounded by friends or their house. The man has a different motive for each location which encapsulates the 3 different character motives in the previous mindmap – it’s perhaps obvious at this point which is which, so we may well alter this. It shows the man to be ambiguous, playing off the previous ‘catfish’ aspect. He has the opportunity to be both good and bad, which shows the dangers and wonders of online dating.
Stage 9: depending on your choice, a video plays an outcome backed with facts and statistics that consolidate the experience.