05 November 2006

Heraldic barcodes for video

say you're in the mood
to rent a video

and you make a list of adjectives
describing the ideal video
you're in the mood for

now collect thousands of such lists
from a broad sample of renters
and compile a master list
with the most popular adjectives first

the design challenge
with heraldic barcodes
is to associate each of these
most popular adjectives
with a distinctive graphic element

carefully chosen
so that all the adjective/elements
describing any given movie
can be composed into an icon
that permits quick visual scanning
(eg on a shelf of box-spines)

as with my flickr proposal
the most convenient grouping
must be foreground-background-frame

backgrounds could again be colored stripes
representing genres
so a little element of horror
might be a thin red stripe
while a lot of nudity
a wide pink stripe

mild horror or mild nudity
might use less saturated colors
(or is pink already
unsaturated red?)

clever choice of color-variants
and stripe arrangement
might map more complex

the frame
(maybe 4 pixels wide
around the whole icon)
should tell how long it is
how expensive/cheap it looks
how smart/dumb
how highly rated

the official rating
might be shown as a letter
located on a stripe
that indicates why it got that rating
(sex, nudity, language, violence)

perhaps the foreground
could be an 'auteur icon'
representing (eg)
a director (eg Tarantino)
a star (Jackie Chan)
a writer (Charlie Kaufman)
a franchise (James Bond)

shorter videos on (eg) youtube
need some custom modifications
to this scheme

frames: length, production values

pratfall, dancing
lipsynch, vlog, etc

and novels
and short stories
need something like this