This book examines and illustrates the use of design principles, design thinking, and other empathy research techniques in university and public settings, to plan and ethically target socially-concerned transmedia stories and evaluate their success through user experience testing methods.

All media industries continue to adjust to a dispersed, diverse, and dilettante mediascape where reaching a large global audience may be easy but communicating with a decisive and engaged public is more difficult. This challenge is arguably toughest for communicators who work to engage a public with reality rather than escape. The chapters in this volume outline the pedagogy and practice of design, empathy research methods for story development, transmedia logics for socially-concerned stories, development of community engagement and the embrace of collective narrative, art and science research collaboration, the role of mixed and virtual reality in prosocial communication, ethical audience targeting, and user experience testing for storytelling campaigns. Each broad topic includes case examples and full case studies of each stage in production.

Offering a detailed exploration of a fast-emerging area, this book will be of great relevance to researchers and university teachers of socially-concerned transmedia storytelling in fields such as journalism, documentary filmmaking, education, and activism.

1. Introduction;  2. Native, Emergent, and Feral Transmedia Storyworlds;  3. Design Thinking and the Storytelling Goal;  4. Deploying Design Thinking for Story Design: Case Studies;  5. Contextualizing the American Opioid Crisis: A Case Study in Transmedia Harm Reduction;  6. Storylines and Conceptual Lineage: Tomas van Houtryve and the Contextualization of History;  7. Challenging Hegemonic Narratives: Power of Story-Based Design Strategies in Activating Sustainable Social Change;  8. Teaching Transmedia Practice in a Design School: The Plug Social TV Experience;  9. Transmedia Action Research: Progressive Pedagogy and Community Engagement;  10. Water from Fog: Transmedia Storytelling and Humanitarian Engineering;  11. Encounters: Art, Science, Clouds and Water;  12. Addressing Social Issues Through Immersive Media;  13. Immersive Storytelling Case Studies: Eva: A-7063, Lesson Learned from That Dragon Cancer, and Coming Home Virtually;  14. Design Thinking as a Tool for Ethical Audience Targeting;  15. The Revolutionist: Eugene V. Debs – A Transmedia Experience for Public Media Audiences;  16. User Experience Design and Testing for Socially-Concerned Storytelling;  17. User Experience Case Study: Professor Garfield’s 21st Century Literacy Project;  18. Conclusion: Defining a Flexible Framework for Analysis or Design of Socially-Concerned Transmedia Stories