How I made Near-Life’s Christmas Present Guide 2022

Team member Ellie explains how she used Near-Life to make a fun, interactive quiz – a Christmas Movie Quiz – that can be embedded on a website or shared directly. 


The first step I take when making an interactive video is to plan it. I knew this guide needed to be inclusive, relevant, and offer a broad range of options. I researched popular Christmas presents for 2022 and included some ‘old reliables’ like jewellery and bath bombs. After I had a list of different options, I started to think about how to divide these categories. 

I created my plan in a flowchart style on Near-Life, making use of the incredibly helpful storyboarding feature the platform has. The first dilemma was whether to include a ‘for him’ and ‘for her’ option. Most sites and guides give this option to make it easier to offer the right products to an individual, but after some deliberation, the team and I concluded that (especially in this day and age) gender wouldn’t play a defining role in what people would be interested in. I decided to give a choice between adult or child, and grouped the adult presents as such: active, useful, grooming/beauty, gadgets/tech. From here I could ask other deciding questions to narrow down the options, like ‘do they work out?’. 


After the plan was made, I could move on to creation. I already knew I would be using Canva to create the media for the interactive video since they make content creation so easy and quick. I made a slide for each section of the video, the intro, every question asked, and every final option suggested. I knew I wanted to use hotspots on Near-Life for the user to give their answer – meaning I would need to create button shapes on Canva that I would then highlight and add interaction to on Near-Life. I downloaded each slide in MP4 and named each appropriately. This makes it far easier to identify the media needed for the nodes on Near-Life. 



With the content prepared, it was time to start construction. I uploaded all the media to my storyboard. I worked through the map, putting the right piece of media into the right node. Then I used the hotspot rectangle feature to highlight the areas of the screen that the end-user can click on to give their decision. With the storyboard already made, the actual construction of the interactive video was pretty quick. I previewed the video a few times to make sure it was presented in the right way and checked through the layout of the map to double-check check everything was going to the right place. When I was happy, I published the video so I could share with the rest of the team and get their feedback. 

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