Editor’s note: This post is a response to the Elevate Engagement Manifesto and is published here as part of Gather, a project + platform to support community-minded journalists and other engagement professionals.
Much of my career has been focused on telling stories — whether those were customer testimonials from my first job at Republic Wireless, or elevating community journalism through my roles at McClatchy Innovation and Issue NC. My mission as a designer and journalist is to not only improve the experience of reading, writing and publishing news, but to also spark conversation and share voices that aren’t always heard.
At McClatchy Innovation, we facilitate many design thinking sessions meant for open-ended results. Usually, the only restriction on the end product is that is must solve a user need.
This week, however, was a little different. We led a workshop with Activate Good, a local nonprofit, to help them redesign their website to better serve the volunteers and nonprofits they work with. Starting with a predetermined solution — a website — presented a new challenge for our team: How can we tailor our existing program for a redesign, rather than an invention? …
I read an eye opening article last week about the shifting role of objectivity in journalism. Fake news, verbal (and physical) assaults on reporters and media distrust all oppose the factual, unbiased journalism we were trained to produce. But ultimately, the solution to fake news won’t be more facts—the solution will be embracing bias.
In ‘Against Objectivity’, Tom Warhover writes:
“The fake news industry owns emotion right now. It goes by another name: fear. Fear can overwhelm the sturdiest set of facts. I don’t mean we should fight fear with more fear. …
Last week, I participated in Matter’s Design Thinking bootcamp in New York City. As a graduate of N.C. State’s College of Design, I felt pretty confident that I knew design thinking inside and out. Turns out, being a veteran of the process doesn’t make it any easier.
I should have known this would be the case. Design is a complex and ever-evolving process. I design for a living and learn something new with every project. So why would this bootcamp be any different?
First, I want to start with a disclaimer for all the seasoned designers out there. …
This month’s community meeting came at the perfect time. Right when I was feeling down from news overload, inspirational quotes of wisdom and mentorship cleared the dark cloud over my head.
As usual at AIGA meetings, we went around the room introducing ourselves and answering an icebreaker question. This month’s question:
Here are a few of my favorite answers:
“Always do what you love.”
“Listen more than you talk”
“You can have everything you want in life, just not at the same time.”
“Worry is a misuse of your imagination.”
“Be who you needed as a kid.”
“If you’re not…
I firmly believe that a good user experience starts with a good reading experience.
Visual journalists lay out large copy blocks in elegant ways–finding the best solution to communicate complex ideas to readers. They focus on readability, the comfort and ease with how text is read, rather than legibility alone. Everything from line height and line length, to justification, font style and font size play in role in readability.
In a previous article, I wrote about the design & writing process for a Republic Story. Now, I am going to take a step back, and go behind the scenes of my most recent Republic Stories interview.
In November I took a trip to East Wenatchee, Washington to interview a family on Republic Wireless for our member stories series. This interview was the sixth trip I’ve taken for Republic Stories and my first in another state.
I had never been to Washington before, and had no idea what to expect for the town of East Wenatchee. …
Adapted from a Creative Lunch & Learn
Writing is a very integral part of my design process and how I approach design problems. As designer and writer for Republic’s member stories program, I am constantly working at the intersection of writing and design. I led a Lunch & Learn to share this process, a few writing tips, and how to think of words as a visual element.
Stories, ads, product descriptions, and technical writing are all pieces of writing that can be enhanced by design. …
As art director for Republic’s blog, Phone Wallet Keys, I love exploring new styles for post graphics. From cutting and pasting construction paper, to Pokemon Go photoshoots, I try to push myself beyond a standard phone image or vector illustration.
My latest exploration was frame-by-frame animation in Photoshop. For someone relatively new to animation, drawing each frame and manually adjusting the timing forced me to think about the mechanics of the animation from start to finish.
A post titled ‘From Flip Phone to Smartphone’ seemed like the perfect opportunity to have some fun with animation. I started by sketching flip…
Since graduating and starting my first job a year ago, I’ve learned more about design than design school ever taught me.
My design education primarily focused on relationships with professors and other design students. While I was very active in Student Media and worked closely with writers and editors, my design projects did not involve the same level of collaboration.
I remember dreading group projects in college. Now, everything I work on is a team effort. Building relationships is unavoidable, and crucial, to producing good work in the professional world.
I’ve learned that design can build bridges between content, development…