The New KISS Principle

We have all heard the acronym, Keep It Simple Stupid or KISS principle. Well, I have brought it forward into our 21st Century supportive culture with an update. It is now, Keep It Simple and Supportive. When it comes to the world of educational videos, an animation style should support what is being taught by stimulating our visual interest. If the video portion is just regurgitating what is being said in the audio, we the viewer start, to feel insulted. Children’s (young children’s) videos tend to like this visual literal of what is being said in the audio, for teaching and reinforcing… the Direct Instruction philosophy of call, answer, and repeat which is great for instilling basic principles in young developing minds. However, for older students, and definitely college students, this style of instruction will come across as childish and boring. Because of that, this style of video will not stimulate the viewer.

Here is a great example of what I am talking about.

This video is also very simple, and minimal, in its construction. Because of this less time and cost goes into producing this type of animation compared to a more complicated style, but yet is very mature. Most of this animation is comprised of still objects instead of elaborate 3D renderings or complex moving characters. A slight visual vibration effect is added to the still objects to create a sense of motion, or life, in objects. There is also a cyclical brightness oscillation that can be seen, changing the scenery from light to dark to light again adding a passage of time feel to the objects and background using a pulsing feel. These few basic ideas all add to the engagement factor, while not distracting the viewer from the import part, the information that the narrator is imparting upon us. Could we employ this style to teach history or psychology? Heck yes!

Simple… entertaining… not distracting… and just plain cute!

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