Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ontology: User Engagement (Part 1)

User engagement with a transmedia narrative emerges from or is affected by a) level of user engagement, b) user agency, c) human-centered design factors, and d) user participation on multiple levels. This post is the first of two parts that look at the elements that influence user engagement and the interrelationships between these elements.

User engagement invites users to participate in the narrative and gains their interest and support. It consists of:
  • Level of User Engagement: The degree of user engagement can span a spectrum from low to high engagement. One measure of user engagement is (Pratten, Audience Engagement & Content Strategy for Transmedia Storytellers, 2010):
    • Attention: At the attention level, the user reads or watches content from the transmedia narrative but takes no further action. This is the lowest level of user engagement. At this point, the user is aware of the narrative but has not made a commitment to continued engagement with it.
    • Evaluation: At the evaluation level the user’s engagement has increased and there is a definite interest in the transmedia narrative. At this stage, the user is deciding whether to make a commitment to continue engaging with the transmedia narrative, including using resources (e.g. time, money, effort) to further that engagement.
    • Affection: At the affection level the user has made a commitment to spend time, money, effort, and other resources to continue engaging with the transmedia narrative. Engagement includes commenting, writing reviews, joining a community (but maybe only lurking), and posting Facebook and other “likes”.
    • Advocacy: At the advocacy level the user’s commitment to the transmedia narrative goes beyond individual participation, with the user encourages others to engage with the narrative through online forwards of information, embedding content, and in satisfaction polls and questionnaires.
    • Contribution: At the contribution level the user’s engagement includes making contributions to the narrative’s fan forums, events, and other activities or adding to the narrative’s storyworld through remixes, collaborations, or creation of entirely new stories. This is the highest level of engagement and involves a significant level of commitment by a user.
  • User Agency: The amount of user control over the narrative is determined by the degree of user agency. The greater the ability of users to set goals, plan their attainment, and be rewarded with changes in the narrative environment, the greater the degree of user agency. Agency relationship, agency scope, agency immediacy, agency duration, dynamic agency, and user input direction are properties of user agency. User agency is also dependent on the user story role.
    • User Story Role: In the internal mode, the user is projected into the story either through an avatar or in a first person perspective to play a role in the narrative. In external mode the user is situated outside the narrative (Ryan, 2001).
    • Agency Relationship: The degree of agency relationship is determined by how tightly the user and narrative system actions are linked. This can range from no linkage to being tightly linked. If the agency relationship is low, an action by a user will not cause a response by the system, while a tightly linked agency relationship means that a user action will cause an appropriate and proportional response by the system (Harrell & Zhu, 2009).
    • Agency Scope: The degree of agency scope is determined by the impact of a user action on the narrative world. The impact can range from local (i.e. navigating an avatar) to global (i.e. taking an action that determines the direction the narrative takes) (Harrell & Zhu, 2009).
    • Agency Immediacy: The degree of agency immediacy is determined by how quickly a response to a user action occurs. This can range from an immediate response to a response that occurs after a considerable delay.
    • Agency Duration: The degree of agency duration is determined by how long the impact of a user action lasts. This can range from short-term (e.g. killing a character that is regenerated a few seconds later) to permanent (e.g. permanently eliminating a key character) within the narrative or storyworld.
    • Dynamic Agency: The degree of dynamic agency is determined by whether the agency relationship, scope, immediacy, or duration changes as the user progresses through the narrative.
    • User Input Direction: The degree of user input direction is determined by how much control the user has over the narrative’s dynamic agency (Harrell & Zhu, 2009).

1 comment:

  1. Your blog contains a lot of information about user engagement. You have provided a rich about this concept. I am grateful to you for sharing all about it.
    user engagement