4

Breaking the Fourth Wall

almost 6 years ago from , UI+UX Designer at Moltin

I just watched a really interesting video explaining how film makers can 'Break the Fourth Wall' to create more engaging and interesting films by having actors engage acknowledge and engage with the audience directly.

Watching it made me start to think about how we can do this as web and UI designers. I can see it helping to create emotional connections with users.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

What do you guys think? Can you think of any good examples that do this?

9 comments

  • Corin EdwardsCorin Edwards, almost 6 years ago

    Breaking the fourth wall is something that happens in fiction. I'm not sure if much design work is fictitious enough to enable a wall between the audience and creator in the first place. UI, web & app design by its interactive nature is always talking directly to users. Explicitly asking them to click or tap buttons, fill in or correct text fields etc.

    2 points
  • Dan SherrattDan Sherratt, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    I think perhaps this could be achieved with total transparency? Rather than talking directly to the user as part of the UI (like Google [ Search Google or type URL ] ) you're being more transparent about why you need input, and specifying exactly what's happening at each step of a process. Not entirely sure how this would apply universally, but something like instead of the positive reinforcement Instagram uses by immediately posting your picture to your feed, then doing all the legwork n the background, it could have an honest loader not dissimilar to what DOS or old 56k dialups used to show... [We are compressing your image, contacting our servers, uploading your image, posting image...] Just a thought, could backfire massively with frustration.

    1 point
  • Numecca .Numecca ., almost 6 years ago

    Can you drop a link for us so we an see it? Thanks, Ollie.

    This is happening a lot in video games during cut scenes. Check out the first 15 minutes of Until Dawn. You'll see how it changes the gameplay significantly at the point that it comes in. Interesting usage.

    1 point
    • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, almost 6 years ago

      I'm not sure whether this would count but there was a great app I used to use to convert videos, for my old iPod, called VisualHub. When you hit advanced settings it would say (along these lines) "So you think you can do it better than us?".

      Perhaps that doesn't fall under 'Breaking the Fourth Wall' but it creates a stronger emotional connection between the user and the app by exposing what the developers were thinking when they created the app. Maybe there is a better term to describe it this if not BtFW.

      1 point
  • Maciej ZadykowiczMaciej Zadykowicz, almost 6 years ago

    Yeah, it's executed nicely in Mr Robot

    0 points
  • Numecca .Numecca ., almost 6 years ago

    .

    0 points
  • Arix KingArix King, almost 6 years ago

    It's an interesting concept, but I really can't think of anyways to put it into practice. You might be able to incorporate it into the design process—maybe something as daring as letting clients sketch thumbnails, but that's got some scary implications and complicated scheduling. Always good to look for new ways to think and solve problems though!

    0 points
  • Geoff RogersGeoff Rogers, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    How would you accomplish anything like this in practice? The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is something like Clippy, or I guess Siri when she cracks certain jokes. Oh, and some Google searches like 'do a barrel roll'.

    Edit: I can't think of a practical application for this, but you know how when you unexpectedly catch your reflection in your monitor or turn on your webcam and see yourself staring at the screen with your mouth open and suddenly you become aware of yourself and what you're doing? That's certainly what breaking the fourth wall feels like to me.

    0 points
    • Ollie Barker, almost 6 years ago

      Check my response above to Numecca. I think BtFW could be the wrong term for what I'm thinking. I kind of feel it's hinting to the user the thoughts of the people who made the thing rather than the company or person(s) it's trying to promote.

      0 points