High Rise was a beautiful experience that completely captivated me in the immersive experience. Not normally considered a fascinating topic, exploring the development of residential high-rises and multi-level living through the use of various media elements proved to be enthralling thanks to its multimedia packaging.
The project relies mainly on a narration over photographs taking the audience through the history of vertical living.
Instead of using still photographs, most are slightly animated, featuring flags flapping in the wind, hand help posters rocking back and forth (Example 1), and more. Animating still photographs keeps the audience engaged and provides an interesting but subtle visual feature to keep the audience interests longer than the standard photograph would.
When exploring beyond the video, I appreciated the different interactive elements featured in the presentation. I especially enjoyed the interactive pieces that involved dragging the mouse across the page to reveal more information about the topic. (Example 2, 3, 4)
I only found one “explore more” feature to be too distracting to pay adequate attention to during the voice-over narration that was occurring at the same time. I was more focused on the game aspect than the content that it was trying to convey. I think this element was an example of distracting from the narrative (Example 5)
Other ‘explore more’ elements featured beautiful large photographs with text overlay and often included soundbites from someone who experiences vertical living during that time period. (Example 6, 7)
The timeline aspect of this presentation could have been improved. Other than flashing the year across the screen prior to the narration (Example 8)to describe what happened that year, there isn’t much notating the actual time these events were taken place. I would have liked to see the time outlined below on the bottom navigation bar in addition to on the screen at all times. I don’t think that this negatively affected the project but it would have improved the overall experience.
The project ends with Part Four featuring a slow song playing while showing various photographs of people’s lives in their high-rise. Showcasing the private lives of residents off their balconies, such as the weather, pets, views, etc. (Example 10) The explore option also provides additional views and an option to read even more viewer’s stories. This helps put life in high-rises into perspective and give insight into how many people are living vertically.
My critiques are mostly with technical glitches that I experienced. I regularly experienced the video not going back to where I had originally left off after I had explored the interactive component.
Also, I had some troubles with the narration, as I couldn’t hear the second part of the story without restarting it several times.
A final technical point that could be improved upon was not allowing audiences to click back with in the video. I would have to re-watch the entire portion if I wanted to see something again.
Overall, I highly enjoyed this op-doc and think that it is a great example of creative digital storytelling.