The One in 8 Million project of the New York Times introduces individuals living in New York City. Through sound and images, the project tells the stories behind ordinary people.
The characters are given a name based on their characteristics or story, like “the Mozzarela Maker.” In the “Series Index” drop down navigation, they are listed in alphabetic order of their last names. In the horizontal navigation bar, one’s character name shows up when users hover on one of those little boxes.
The navigation of the whole site is quite user friendly. There is a “Return to Collection” button on any interior page – either the multimedia page of an character, or the “About” pop-up page of the character. While the multimedia page stays clean, the “About” page gives users the choice of going to the next or previous character as well as “Return to Collection.” In “Series Index”, by eliminating box borders and a hover state effect, it reduces visual noise while it still defines each individual story.
“Link to This Story” is a good tool to help readers copy the URL easily and share the story, which in turn helps expand the audience of the project.
I think with the swiping sort of design, it is easy to be transfered to a mobile site.
Although it has got lively stories, it sticks with the black and grey tone, which seems a little too heavy.
One site I came across this semester that I really liked was by the New York Times called “I Hope So Too.” It was a giant survey of what random people walking around in 14 different states were “hoping” to see from Obama’s administration.
I liked it because there are several ways to show results of a survey and this one was one of the least boring I’ve seen in awhile. It also evoked emotion by using the word “hope” and that gave it some significance to me. It also allows people to participate by clicking on “I hope so too” if they agree with some of the responses.
The survey topics float above the silhouettes of people below and you are able to click on the bubbles to hear recorded responses. To navigate to a new response is very simple, just click on the tabs on either side to hear “previous” or “next” response.
If you wanted to hear a completely new topic, just click outside of the response and it will bring back all of the speech bubbles and even show which ones you have already visited. I think this is a great site to make politics a more interesting and relatable subject.
At any point, you can click on the timeline to jump to a different decade in NASA’s history. You hear decade-appropriate music, see quarky alien animations and video clips of NASA. It’s interactive, fun, educational, and autoplay. I love it all except for that last part.
It really is a fun website to play around on.
Every spot in the timeline has more space-related facts about anything from launches to Star Wars premiers. It is a quirky look at an often too-scientific program. I wouldn’t spend too much time on the site, though, because after a few minutes, the constant music, alien animation and childlike interface makes me want to look for something a little more…serious.
Out My Window is a really cool multimedia site by National Film Board of Canada. It’s a collection of stories around the world.
The site uses a full window design using flash. It’s so unique and interactive. The website also loads pretty fast on my computer, with amazing visual presentation. The transitions are also fluent and fast.
Three kinds of navigation is used: the world map, the window displays, and when hover at the bottom there are mug shots of people who are featured. It’s really fun to play around and read the stories. There are photos and videos.
There are so many interactive elements on this website, I spent a long time just to click and see, and there are always surprises! It has a video that the user can control the angle while it’s playing, which is amazing.
One of my favorite displays of multimedia journalism isn’t exactly new, and – at this point – it’s probably not the best website of its kind on the market. It was, however, among the first of it’s kind – and a trendsetter.
The first issue of #5 Magazine was published in February of 2009 – a full year before Apple released the iPad and changed the way people purchase, view and interact with magazines. It looked kind of like a British Esquire – with the caveat that it was digital and had multimedia capabilities.
Sponsored and made popular by British soccer star Rio Ferdinand (he is the mag’s namesake – he wears #5 on the soccer field), #5 reads like most magazines you grew up with – you “flip through” pages using navigation arrows – except it has videos and other types of interactivity.
For example, on consecutive pages in the new issue, you can view creative videos made about professional soccer players, download a song on iTunes, view a car ad with rotating ads and read a feature about emerging musical artist Alice Gold. That’s not necessarily uncommon to find on the Web, but given that it’s all put together in magazine format that came before digital magazines were a thing, #5, I think, is remarkably cool.
Since I started doing infographics at the Missourian, one of my least favorite projects to work on has been timelines. When you’re chronicling something that has spanned a long period of time or has a lot of points to include, the design can get so long and unattractive.
That’s why I LOVE the format the Guardian used for their timeline of the Arab Spring. The forward and backward motion of the timeline feel, to me, like a fun trip on a roller coaster, and I think it visualizes time very effectively in a small window. There are a lot of points to put on a timeline for the Arab Spring, and it can be overwhelming, but I think this project does a great job of not making it feel too overwhelming by not trying to shove everything into the same space at the same time and letting you move at your own pace. I also like that the markers for each event kind of pop out when you roll over them and highlight the country you’re reading about so you know exactly where you are on the timeline. Overall, this project just does a great job of getting a TON of information into a very compact space.
The Australian Broadcasting Company did a similar timeline on climate history.
Only problem with this format – it’s done in Flash, so it’s not compatible with mobile Apple devices. I got pretty sad when I found this out since Flash is on it’s way out.
My favorite multimedia project comes from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Powering A Nation series. It is a multi-tiered, multi-chaptered piece that combines excellent storytelling with eye-popping, interactive visual elements.
These stories take a relatively uninteresting subject (at least for the casual viewer) and make it something to which nearly everyone can relate. There are four distinct sections of the project, and yet, there are layers and layers of depth and character within each one. I really enjoyed this particular page, as it tells the story in a visual way while summarizing it succinctly. This concept works really well online, because it would be fairly complicated to assemble for print (and impossible in terms of interactivity). The sheer breadth and depth of the project allows the viewer to really experience it, as if it’s a feature film. There’s definitely a visceral, indescribable component to this project that I really like.