Critiquing A Piece of Multimedia

Title: “Walking New York”

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/22/magazine/new-york-city-walks.html

“Walking New York,” is an issue in The New York Times Magazine put together by countless contributors to showcase their most memorable locations and walks through New York City.

This project automatically grabbed my attention because I have a deep fascination for New York as a whole, the different parts of the city, the activities offered, and the endless flow of different people everywhere. The layout of this piece is simple yet still engaging. When you open the page, the title and an introductory paragraph pops up with a bright photo of the New York City skyline as the background. The part that sucked me in and shocked me was when I read the option to, “click and drag panorama,” on the photo and the entire background moves to show a panoramic display of that area or specific location of New York, which I thought was an amazing idea and a great way to engage readers.

This piece represents a good use of multimedia because it includes more than one medium such as text from contributors sharing their personal stories with words, and interactive photos to paint a better picture. This piece also includes a section where readers can type in their own contribution and personal experience of walking around New York or about a specific location in the city. So not only are readers engaging in the stories of others by reading the stories already posted, they have the access to share their own stories as well.

Since the layout is simple and pretty straightforward, I did not see any drawbacks. The only thing I would say is that the piece is really long, I read numerous stories and started to skip through to see when the scrolling would end but eventually I got tired of scrolling. I did not see this as a huge drawback because I still thought every story was interesting to read since they were all from a different person, a new location, and a unique perspective. Maybe a feature to improve that would be to have a feature to see a list of all the different stories or locations laid out like a table of contents so you could skip to the story you left on, instead of starting from the top of the page and scrolling endlessly to find the story you would like to read. Unfortunately, I was not able to get through the whole thing but I will definitely continue to read up on this project.

The stories themselves have a lot of life and personality to them because they are direct words from the contributors and the panoramic photos illustrate the setting beautifully. I think what could make this project improve a little would be to include portraits or candids of the people sharing these stories themselves, capturing them in these locations around the city to bring the stories even more to life. Although, I do believe the stories are very full of life already that they have given me inspiration to explore different small locations of my own city in hopes that one way I can explore the locations talked about in the stories of this project.