What is a shooting Script?
Before we go into the field, into the context of experience, negotiation, observation, and documentation, we have to know what we're looking for. The designers knows formulas of looking, but the participating informant (if this is the appropriate term for a willing and knowledgeable participant), is the one who knows where to look, and what they want to see and make seen. Together we define the qualities that we would like to observe and document. This process is itself a dialogue. The designer has an agenda of clarification, order, legibility. The participant has the agenda of authenticity, self authorship, expression, and clarity of action. These themes are high quality if they meet the following criteria:
- capture a shared, but not necessarily identical meaning, by all participants and designers participating in the exercise
- are specific enough to be applied to things we can see
- are open enough to be seen in many places
- are open enough to be understood in different ways
What are some qualities that you would like to observe and document?
How would you articulate them as present or absent?
How would you articulate these as desirable or undesirable traits?
These are the themes of your shooting script. In order to keep track of how many instances of these qualities you've managed to find and capture while conducting field work, you'll have to document the themes in a way that allows you to tally the number of times you've captured each quality. I've found that these outlines work well in the field, and are flexible enough to be sketched quickly, or printed in advance.
Establishing how these themes relate is itself an act of categorization for the designer an informant. Choosing the model that fits the space that we're investigating is an act of negotiation, agreement or proceeding in a state of disagreement in order to discover what happens next.