In an effort to increase the quality of script submissions to Amazon Studios our team decided to build free screenwriting tool for writers of all skill levels.View the web-app View the Chrome app
In the beginning there were user stories. And those user stories were generated off of feedback. This feedback was gathered by our awesome PM Sarah Emerson who interviewed multiple screenwriters and basically asked them what they wish their current tool did well. I also did some research myself, concentrating on interaction and auto-formating.
Things move pretty fast at Amazon, so combining wireframes with whiteboard sessions seemed like a good way to maximize productivity in the early part of the process. Looking back I think this made some contributors a bit reluctant to add to the whiteboard. Maybe it seemed more finalized? I don't know. But on the plus side we were able to move quickly and ship with quite a few features.
Here are a just a few samples of interaction design documentation I created for Storywriter.
Although virtually no-one will be writing a script with a phone. We still wanted users to be able to do other things on a mobile device like:
The Element Picker is a formatting tool designed to allow the user to change and/or identify text formats. This was a crucial part of the tool where users would be spending the majority of their time. Here is a diagram showing the interaction experience for the first version of that feature. Testing this version revealed that users assumed they needed to interact with it. So we changed the design to the more descriptive version in production today.
This document shows the review interaction experience. This feature would let users collaborate over individual elements of a script on desktop and mobile devices.
I used the Atomic Design method to create the Storywriter design system. You can read more about atomic on Brad Frost's blog.HTML Styleguide
We needed a place where users could do the following:
Once we had the content for the site I went straight to wireframe to get signoff on information architecture and move to design.
We already had a style guide for that app so design moved quickly. After I finished up the illustrations, all we needed was a nice photo for the header so our PM and I went out with one of our engineers and had a mini photoshoot.
User and peer feedback.
Amazon Studios started as a screenplay writing contest. After a few years of experimenting with reviews and storyboard testing we decided to strictly make this a place to submit a script for review and market original content.Amazonstudios.com
I was also responsible for providing print and adspace material for our marketing team.
Variety Magazine and the NY Television Festival
I designed and coded our monthly newsletter.
Marketing billboards for the homepage hero slider.
Ads that were placed on the retail website as well and 3rd party sites.
Graphics for Facebook and social media contests.
I also designed 2 other web apps for Amazon Studios. Unfortunately, I was and idiot and didn't do a good job saving any of my process work.
A digital corkboard to start outlining a movie script. Unfortunately it never got out of the Beta stage but as of today (2/3/2018) it appears to be alive and kicking!
Desktop & Mobile
The storyboard player was intended to get user feedback on scripts during early development. In theory users would leave feedback during any point in the story. We would then use that data to determine where or how to develop the story.