Navigating Information

Documentation of how I think through Project 1: Navigating Information.

8.29.2017 Wind up toy and organization exercise.

We began our CD studio by decoding wind up toys Stacie brought to class. At first sight, I didn’t have much opinion about these toys because it was hard to examine from where I sit. However, after some close inspections of the toys followed by guided discussions, I started to see more in these toys.

Wind up toys Stacie brought with her

The little details in these toys told me how should they be operated. Some (soundlessly) spoke to me that they can run by showing their wheels or joints, while some other said they can fly by showing their wings with flexible legs. They also each expressed different personality and history with their visual form, color, material they are made of, and sound they make.

With this short icebreaker activity, I learned different types of communication elements and what they can convey. The activity made me look at mundane objects with another lens that could perhaps transforms the way I see the world. As a designer, I realized, it is critical to analyze the world arround us more carefully, and not just see what is shown.

Organization activity CD studio 1

Next activity was to introduce ourselves visually with post-it notes. Stacie posed few questions and we each answered to her questions with drawings, keywords, or short sentences on post-it notes provided. After we all put our notes up on the wall, we started to see connection between things. We, therefore, affinity diagramed our answers into few categories and orders. Some used location and distance as their measure, and some highlighted overlapping areas. Our group categorized student’s backgrounds into existing fields, and added additional measures into the categorization: “relation to design” (top to bottom) and “approximation of #-dimensional” (left to right).

This activity helped me understand different organization methods: location, category, hierarchy, alphabetical, and chronological. When information is presented without order or hierarchy, we found the information overwhelming to digest. With this organization methods I learned today, I am going to explore ways to present information in more meaningful and appropriate way for readers.

8.30.2017 Readings: Davis_schemas, Mason

Davis, in his book about schemas, exaplains how design is influenced by and influences culture and social behavior of people in the environment. His explanation about formative role and illustrative role of design was particularly interesting to me because it made me think of the how designers can manipulate the way people perceive and interpret information.

With Davis reading, I realized that we need to pay attention to the schemas (expected behavior or assumptions) exist in our culture when we design. Our mind often makes certain association to colors and forms while consuming information. For example: we think of red as error, triangle as warning, green as safe, serif font as serious, bold as loud, etc. In examining news sources for project one, visual cues exhibited in the articles and landing page will tell how providers used this schemas in our culture to control reading experience for the readers.

Mason, in his article, talks about attention economy. He insists that information is now so easy to get due to the birth of internet and mobile phones, and thus our attention naturally goes into the most extreme, sickest ones. Attention economy evident in our culture may have influenced how news providers display their stories with image, color, and type choices.

8.30.2017 Analyzing news sources: part 1

For project 1: navigating information, we are asked to analyze existing online news sources with the lens of communication design, and investigate design intervention in order to help people make better informed decision on issues being discussed around the world (Rohrbach, Project 1).

Joe, Devika and I decided to analyze Wall Street Journal, BBC, and NPR because we were curious about the relationship between mental model of each news venue and differences in main delivery medium (WSJ: paper, BBC: TV, NPR: radio). Joe, Devika and I each dive deep into different aspect of the three venues (written and visual content, visual form, and visual structure respectively.)

I started off the project by analyzing visual structure of each venues selected. In terms of layout and hierarchy, all of the three venues display top headline story in the most prominent area of the homepage (top left section where user’s eyes go first based on reading sequence). And they all display secondary stories with images next to the headline story. While BBC and NPR are more image heavy, Wall Street Journal gives more emphasis on headline text. And among three of them, BBC is the only venue who uses text overlay on image.

Homepage of NPR, BBC, Wall Street Journal
Wireframes of NPR, BBC, Wall Street Journal

All of them organize stories into few categories, however, they each uses different visual treatment to the categories. Each category occupies one vertical section of the homepage, and BBC divides sections most strongly. BBC organizes information into color coded categories with rotational light grey/white background for section dividers.

I get “explore and read” impression from three column, card-like layout in BBC’s secondary stories. Every stories are given same visual weight except the top story.

BBC’s color coded categories and rotational background blocks.

Wall Street Journal displays top story and secondary stories within each category and the visual structure remains the same thought all vertical sections. They use thin black line as a section divider with relatively small text for each section header. It was confusing which section I am in compared to the BBC example. As for layout, WSJ resembles newsprint structure.

Wall Street Journal — Business category on homepage

Headline stories usually display image, title, category tag, date and blurb, while secondary stories only show image, title, and category tag in BBC and Wall Street Journal examples. Although NPR displays secondary stories with same amount of information as top story in vertical stacking order, secondary stories take less screen estate compared to the headline story.

NPR below the fold

Users can consume information while scrolling through homepage, search particular story, based on category, or sign-in to access personalized curation. All of three venues display categories in global menu on top. BBC and WSJ fixed menu on top, thus users lose access to different category as they scroll down. For Wall Street Journal, global menu stays on top area regardless of user’s location on the page.

WSJ: Menu stays on top area when user scroll down the page.

Advertisements take approximately 1/3 of real estate in all of examples. While advertisements are shown with stories in Wall Street Journal and BBC examples, NPR distinguished advertisement from it’s stories relatively stronger than others by making distinct section just with advertisement and “Now Live”.

As for visual and written content, WSJ was generally story oriented, BBC was factual information based, and story and factual information were balanced in NPR. All of them displayed ordinary use of punctuation.

Wall Street Journal has very descriptive titles with images that are deeply rooted to the story. Images are often composed in the crowd, tied to the situation in the story, and not necessarily beautifully composed. Story sometimes contains testimonials from interviewee that gives more personalized feeling to the story. Text are more emphasized than images in WSJ case– images play supporting role for the written content. Captions on images add more details to the story rather than simply explaining the image.

BBC displays short and choppy titles for stories, contains more bullet pointed factual statements than stories. Images were heavier than text in BBC and the images are generally beautifully composed. Some story includes interactive maps and graphic. Captions usually describe image but doesn’t add much to the story. BBC links story to video a lot, encouraging readers to watch recorded news.

NPR also has very descriptive titles (5+words) and covers broad range of issue with multiple images and series of short stories. Images are definitely crafted and high quality, but I didn’t feeling of get stock photos because images are descriptive of the situation. Since NPR used broad range of images with audio files, those seem to be main communication method in NPR, but it offers adequate amount of written story and factual data as well. Story was formatted in narration– giving the sense of “talking” in the written content. NPR often integrates social media into story, which gives “real time” impression to the story.

Visual form of website suggest voice and characteristic of the venue. BBC uses high contrast, bright colors with sans-serif font (Helvetica, Arial) that evokes modern, high-pitch, and energetic feelings. Each category has different color and each section are clearly marked with colored banner and bars. Color is used to highlight popular content.

BBC’s use of color to differentiate sections

Wall Street Journal mainly uses black on white with blue-toned spot colors and serif font (Chronicle, Whitney) which evokes serious and calm impression. WSJ maintains newsprint feel throughout the website. Color is used to differentiate categories and to emphasize movement: mainly to display change in market or time. Huge portion of WSJ audience might be comprised of bankers and CEOs, which may led WSJ’s decision to emphasize change in stock market on their website. WSJ homepage seem to mimic multitasking desktop of financial workers.

WSJ emphasizes stock change on their homepage.

NPR maintained soft and conversational theme throughout the website by using neutral colors and kerning. Use of whitespace and kerning on text suggests soft-tone fluid narration. Lower-cased category added to soft/ calm feeling it exhibits. NPR uses Gotham, Helvetica and Arial for homepage texts and Georgia for story.

9.4.2017: Who are the audience and who are the providers?

Crisp reading on Context emphasizes that context can yield to certain design decisions and thus it plays significant role in reader’s interpretation of the information (Crisp_context, 35). When defining the context, he insists that we need to ask following questions:

  1. Who initiate the work?
  2. Who are the readers?
  3. What is the artifact?
  4. How is the artifact manifested?
  5. Where does delivery take place?
  6. When does delivery take place?

In analyzing news venues on their design decisions, it is critical to understand the context where it came from and where it goes to.

Audience:

Wall Street Journal: WSJ audiences are generally highly educated, well balanced in gender, and accessing the site from work. Most of traffic comes from Google and other news sources. This may means WSJ audiences visit the site while researching for work-related tasks.

Audience demographic for WSJ (https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wsj.com)
Audience upstream sites for WSJ (https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wsj.com)

BBC: BBC audiences achieved higher education compared to the other two, male dominated, and access the site from home or work. Higher education and browsing location suggest that BBC audience are older compared to the audience in WSJ and NPR. Traffic comes from bbc.co.uk, Google, and various social media sites including youtube.com. This may explain image/video heavy nature of BBC online site. BBC uses eye-catching image and short video clips as main communication method: to trigger click to the site and to keep audience stay engaged within the site. Since many audiences are accessing the site from home, it may also means the audiences are in more relaxed context to watch video content.

Audience demographic for BBC (https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bbc.com)
Audience upstream sites for BBC (https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bbc.com)

NPR: NPR audiences have wide-range of educational level, female dominated, and accessing the site from home, school, and work. Most of traffic comes from Google and social media. Well balanced education and browsing location may suggest that NPR audiences are multitasking while consuming the news, thus are looking for easy-to-understand narrative format stories.

Audience demographic for NPR(https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/npr.org)
Audience upstream sites for NPR(https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/npr.org)

Napkin Sketches:

Inspired by Don Moyer’s napkin sketch method, I started to quickly sketch out key points of each venue. While sketching out key points visually, I was able to better understand goals and motivations each venue exhibit, and how they try to achieve their goals with different approaches. This sketches also helped me quickly draw comparision bewteen the three venues since same actors brought up multiple times. Sketching out relationship helped me put them into spectrum based on their storytelling styles and connotation they want to acheive through choice of visual forms and structure.

Actors and key points of each venue.
Napkin sketch of relationship between BBC, NPR, and WSJ.

With the team, while discussing our individual interpretations of the three news venues, we arrived to a consensus on the goals and motivation of the three.

9.6.2017: What are the goals of each venue and what they are motivated by?

First draft in speaking format:

Overall: Although execution maybe different, all three news venues we examined– Wall Street Journal, BBC, and NPR– try to gain and attain user’s trust by presenting information in neutral, non-biased (neither left or right) manner.

Wall Street Journal:
Wall Street Journal is known for trustful newspaper due to its long legacy. With its move to online, wsj.com tries to attain reader’s trust by presenting articles in sincere manner.

Use of serif font and newspaper-resemble layout reminds the reader of their legacy. Limited use of color also tones down the website and helps user focus on the article itself.

When on articles, readers get sense of trust (that it is not biased) by seeing contextualized images and detailed story format written content. Testimonials and raw (not beautifully composed) images also guide readers to think that it came straight out to them (audience) with not much additives to the story.

Wall Street Journal always (either strongly or unwittingly) draw relationship between finance with the story in order to retain interest of it’s speical interest group: finance workers.

BBC:
BBC is considered as popular, trustful news brand with it’s long broadcasting history. Due to it’s frequent visibility, people built familiarity to brand BBC, and that familiarity helped strengthened the trsut among the audience. With it’s move to online, bbc.com tries to retain trust by maintaining voice and tone of the broadcasting.

Use of white, bold, sans serif text overlay on picture reminds the reader of their legacy. Conspicuous color pallet guides reader’s way finding within the website as like in the news we see on TV (ex: “Now, Jennifer from Seattle will be reporting about ____”)

When on article, BBC tries to convey neutral perspective by narrate story in bullet-pointed list style with digestable concise bit of information. This style provokes urgency in story-telling, which makes the readers to feel that there isn’t much additives to the story. BBC often includes recorded video of the situation itself to help readers put themselves in the context, which makes them believe genuineness of the story.

NPR:
NPR also has long history in radio news reporting. With it’s move to online, npr.org tries to evoke calmness to attain and retain user’s trust.

NPR’s soft color pallet, lower-cased sans-serif font with kerning, and simple layout structure evokes pureness of the brand. And this pureness or naiveness give readers sense of trust because this voice/tone influence readers to think the brand can’t lie or biased.

When on article, NPR tries to be more serious with use of serif font and descriptive storytelling techniques to build more trust with the audience. They covers the situation broadly with a lot of images in order to show that they are offering entire perspective rather than just showing the biased part. NPR’s inclusion of real-people’s opinions from social media like Facebook or Twitter also build more neutrality and pureness in the story because readers naturally makes connection with them (‘they are like me.’)

9.7.2017: Thinking about how to tell a story

We initially formatted our news analysis in three different summarizations of each news venue. However, as we continuously revise our story, we found that formatting story by drawing comparison in three different angles we studied(content, structure, and form) would better aid users to make comparison between the three news venues because it would lower their cognitive load.

Revised story:

Overall:

News organizations rely on elements of form, structure, and content in the design of their websites as tools to convey their brand and underlying agendas. The result of which has the potential to change how we perceive both the news reported,
 and the organizations as a whole. In the context of journalism, many news outlets carefully craft these design elements and systems to convey the sense of trustworthiness and objectivity that their reporting strives to achieve. Through analysis of the news websites of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), National Public Radio (NPR) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) we looked to un- cover how each organization used design to communicate a neutral and centered perspective to a broad audience of readers.

The BBC, NPR and the WSJ each have lasting legacies rooted in different media channels. The BBC being primarily a broadcasting organization, NPR a well respected radio network, and the WSJ a long-running print newspaper. Due to their neutral and unbiased positions coupled with their legacy, readers perceive them to be trustworthy news sources. Although the BBC, NPR, and the WSJ each take different approaches towards communicating this neutrality, they have successfully maintained the vital characteristics that de ne their respective brands.

Content

The written and visual content strategies of the BBC, NPR and the WSJ vary signi cantly, and in many ways re ect the media channels that de ne their legacy. Despite these differences, their content contributes to the overall perception that these organizations take a neutral and centered approach towards reporting the news.

The BBC, for instance, has adopted a condensed matter of fact writing style throughout their articles, providing their readers with an easily digestible general overview of the stories at hand. Resulting in stories that read more like a bulleted list than a traditionally printed news article, reminiscent of the concise tone of a television news broadcast. To supplement this, they rely heavily on BBC produced videos and links to other stories within the BBC network to keep viewers engaged with a broad spectrum of relevant content.

In contrast, the written and visual content of a typical NPR article are working in concert to push the narrative of a given story. The writing style, in particular, mimics the cadence and calmness of an NPR radio show. By integrating posts from the Facebook and Twitter accounts of listeners with varied political leanings, NPR further reinforces a more centered and open approach towards journalism.

Much like the print newspapers that are synonymous with the Wall Street Journal’s brand, the written and visual content of WSJ.com conveys a sense of thoroughness and attention to detail. They achieve this through a combination of long-form journalistic works and supporting imagery which focuses on in-depth storytelling told through the lens of business and nance. By approaching news from a non-partisan business-oriented perspective, they are able to maintain a sense of neutrality in their written and visual content.

Structure:

The notion of legacy manifests itself most clearly in the visual structure of each of the three media outlets. For instance, the BBC has long been seen as a trustful source of television news. As such, the structure of BBC.com organizes information in a card-like three column layout that privileges images over text. By overlaying the headlines in lower left corner of videos in the style of a traditional television news broadcasts, the type becomes a means of reminding users of the legacy content that is synonymous with the BBC.

NPR, on the other hand, tries to evoke the soft and calm tone of their radio reporting style throughout npr.org through the use of a simple, single column layout which prioritizes white space. NPR.org also uses visual structure as a tool for connecting users to the radio content which de nes their brand. By dedicating one-third of the screen real estate to the “live now” section, as well as a header which displays the logo of the user’s local public radio station, access to live news and related audio content remains only a click away.

The Wall Street Journal’s online site WSJ.com is designed to re ect the look and feel of a traditional print newspaper. They organize information in a text-heavy compact layout with very little spacing between the content. In the print edition of the WSJ, content was intentionally packed together to put as much content as possible within the limited paper size. Although there is no size restriction now in an in nitely scrollable website, they decided to maintain the look and feel of the traditional newspaper to remind readers of their long legacy of producing print news.

Form:

The visual form of all three news venues can be seen as being spread across a spectrum. The BBC, for instance, uses bold, sans-serif fonts throughout their articles reminiscent of their television broadcasts. This high-contrast style is re ective of their lineage of forthright and crisp reporting. Whereas color is mainly a tool to help users navigate the numerous categories within site.

In terms color and form, NPR does little to grab the attention of the user. It maintains a muted low contrast color palette, connotative of the radio voice playing in the background. This subdued tone is furthered by employing lowercase type for both the brand name and different category options. The use of serif fonts for the body text allows for easier reading of the detailed stories, yet the suf cient line-height makes the text appear well spread out and not too overwhelming.

The WSJ approaches visual form from a professional and business perspective. There is a high contrast between the text and background; using color judiciously to mark categories or highlight changes in time and market movements. This visual style enables the user to focus more on the articles themselves. By using serif fonts throughout the site, users are reminded of the WSJ’s well respected and long known brand in journalism.

Conclusion:

When reading news online, it is important to take into consideration how elements of form, structure, and content are being used to communicate underlying agendas of the source. When looking at the news websites of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), National Public Radio (NPR) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in particular, vastly different approaches towards communication design emerged in pursuit of conveying a more centered, neutral, point of view. It is important to note however that despite this, the BBC’s matter of fact stance, NPR’s calm and soft style, and the WSJ’s professional and journalistic approach at a fundamental level all work in achieving this goal.

We believe that it is this combination of neutrality and a long legacy of reporting the news that leads to the perception of trustworthiness and ultimately allows all three outlets to appeal to a broad audience.

9.12.2017: Presenting our analysis

We presented our news analysis to entire class today in non-traditional presentation method. Instead of preparing keynote presentation, we told the story of our news analysis while sketching out supporting visuals simultaneously to aid user understanding.

What did I learned?

First of all, I learned how important performance is in delivering information. The preparation for this presentation was very different from my prior presentation experiences. We laid out logistics first: who is going to stand where, who will be talking and who will sketch out supporting visuals, when to pause, how we should pass markers, etc. Despite how simple it seems like, this wasn’t easy at all. The preparation phase helped me appreciate stage directors and actors more. Performance was varied by the team, and I realize using gesture in confident pose and voice tone really helped in engaging audience, and thus vital in effectively delivering the information.

Secondly, I learned how visuals can not only support spoken words, but also compliment user understanding and memorization of the information. Visual definitely helps information intake by providing metaphors that audiences are familiar with while simplifying complex information. Moreover, it also helps the audience to remember the information better and longer by providing snapshot of what is just being told. Abstraction and simplification definitely help synchronizing visuals with spoken words, but the essence of meaning in simplified forms should be maintained in order to successfully communicate.

9.14.2017: Comparing all news sources

So far, our perspective was constrained to the news sources we were assigned to analyze. To help us understand big picture of information providers, Stacie suggested us to compare and contrast our key findings by clustering our analysis as a class. To first do this, each team got colored post it notes and put down key points in the post-it provided.

By clustering keypoints from each team into new categories or measures, we started to see new and interesting patterns among these news venues. News venue’s political orientation was evident in their selection of visual forms, personalities sometimes overlapped between venues, and we were also able to discuss our personal opinions on effectiveness of different visual structural methods.

This exercise helped me see range of methods and tectics information providers use to influence their users, and guided me to visually understand spectrum of underlying motivation (i.e. from persuading users on political perspective to aid their own power structure) of the information providers.

Furthermore, it helped me understand the relationship between information providers and the users, and how the providers are possibiliy influenced by the user’s personal information gathered from internet (eg. tracking of web surfing behavior and personal demographic information) on their form, structure and content decisions.

Design intervention brainstorming session

We ended the class with fun and short brainstorming activity. This activity triggered us to start thinking about design intervention that could help people become informed citizens. Since we found, during our news venue analysis, that maintaining neutrality is key to provide unbiased perspective to the users, we focused on ways to provide neutrality with our design intervention.

During 10 minutes of short brainstorming session, we came up with “news monkey” idea (name was mainly due to the prop we brought to our table). It is a web browser plugin that users can installed to get randomized news with additional information about each news venue they get to. Users can turn on and off the plugin anytime they want. When it is active, users can see each news venue’s funding source, audience demographic + their political leaning, and popularity. And when user clicks on an article from the news venue she visited, it redirects users to the same article from different news venue. In this way, we believe users can be exposed to as many different news venues with varied focal points, and they can better shape their understanding of the issues around the world.

One of the challenges we found after this brainstorming session was how to attract users who are not seeking this broad perspective. Some users may be perfectly happy with the perspective their favorite news venue provides, and some might not even read the news on regular basis.

How can we attract users who are not seeking to get varied perspectives? What are their entry points to this design intervention?

  1. Email advertising: “Did you know?” email with some information about their favorite news venue — makes user to question whether they are getting biased view.
  2. Random images in web or in physical setting: makes user imagine the benefit of having broad views which news monkey can provide by having them experience the effect through different medium in their everyday life situation. It should include link to the plugin installation page.
  3. Web plugin referral program: existing user spreads values this plugin can provide and refers friend to get incentives (more information about the venue, better performance, etc.)
  4. Temporary campaigns that could raise awareness of users’ reading habit and possibly help them realize their narrow perspective- Google Doodle?.

Design intervention improvement:

We realized that our randomizer idea could be intrusive to users since we are not giving user appropriate control over their reading. However, we still wanted to provide some additional information (such as audience, funding, geographic, etc) for users to help them make more informed decision and interpretation on the information that they are getting from these news venues.

After talking as a team, we came up with improved design intervention idea where users would highlight headline texts to reveal various information about the article as well as the news venue. These information would be crowed sourced from people from all over the world. So we brainstormed types of personal information that would be informative of the voice of news venue as well as interesting to compare as an ordinary person. With this data visualization, we want our audience to be more critical in what they are reading by comparing and contrasting themselves with other people. We also want our audience to see how their views and perspective change over time.

We then quickly mapped out basic flow. Where would they enter, how their experience would be like, and how it can grow. In our scenario, our design intervention will be featured on temporary Google campaign to raise awareness of information biases. On the Google homepage, users would see abstracted version of data visualization of data in which features what they have paid attention to and what they have been missed, and when they click on the doodle, they can download our plug-in. Then they would provide to the crowdsource information by either completing profile or getting various questions while surfing on the news website with the plugin on. Each week, users will get visualization of their reading digest from our plug-in and would be able to share the ‘reading digest poster’ with their friend or simply invite their friends to the plugin to get more information about news venues.

Digital iteration 1: add caption

We quickly sketched out our idea in digital format to see if the idea makes sense to us. In the process, we found ourselves lost in granular details of the types of information we are giving to the users; whether that particular information we chose could possibly make the user even more biased (eg. if a banker user sees that his community reads particular news only, would he seek to broaden his perspective?)

So we decided to step back and think about the bigger picture that we want to achieve through our design intervention. With our intervention,

  1. We want them to realize their filter bubble (in both venues and topics) and be reflective about their consumption habit.
  2. We want them to broaden their perspectives and encourage them to place out of their filter bubble

With these goals in mind, we simplified our idea into simple tool that visualize user’s readership in order to help them realize their filter bubble, in which also allows them to step back and reflect on their comsumption habit by comparing themselves to their immidiate community, internet as a whole, and their friends. Ultimately, we hope this tool serves as an encouragement to the users to broaden their readership/perspective through constant reflection and comparison.

PewResearch:

To help users understand their own filter bubble in term of information they get from different news venues, it was important to show how their frequently visited news sources are politically considered. In doing so, we pulled data from PewRsearch.

Inspiration on data visualizations:

Data visualization iterations:

Digital iteration2: Telescope

We then played with different colors and subtlety of forms to convey “constellation of reading habit”

Design intervention: Telescope

Telescope is a tool that seeks to make people aware of their news reading habits and nudge them towards being better-informed readers. In an effort to push people out of their filter bubble Telescope generates a customized visualization, or constellation, which allows users to see patterns in their news reading habits. Users can look at the larger landscape of news viewership from their community and the internet as a whole so that they can take a step back to reflect on their news consumption habits.

In parallel, Telescope will use a temporary Google Doodle campaign consisting of an abstracted version of a given user’s constellations, to lead users to the microsite. (Fig.01)

01. Temporary Google Doodle campaign leads users to the site.

Once inside, they can browse through a comprehensive visual history of their news reading habits organized by sources and color-coded by topic. This information is overlayed upon a grid of stars, comprised of frequently visited news venues arranged along a political spectrum defined by Pew Research audience data. As the user reads more about any given topic the size of the stars “glow” grows accordingly. (Fig.02) Telescope provides a time slider, so users can begin to further understand how their reading behaviors have evolved over time. (Fig.03)

02. Users can view their own filter bubble through the visualization of their reading habits based on the topics they have been focused on or missed and news venues they were on and how the venues are politically perceived by other audience.
03. Users can view how their own reading behavior has evolved over time by changing time slider.

Additionally, Telescope gives users an in-depth overview of their reading habits presented in real time, juxtaposed with those of other users throughout the world. By allowing users to overlay constellations from those within their social circle and community, users can begin to take stock of their reading behavior compared to those around them and be incentivized to explore other sources and issues. This process of comparison looks to encourage users to continually engage with the tool and ultimately explore a broader range of news venues and topics. By doing so, Telescope confronts readers with a reflection of their own habits while serving as a reminder to critically consider varying perspective of the world around them. (Fig.04–05)

04. Users can compare their reading habit to broader community of internet users around the world, neighbors based on geographic location, and friends
05. Users can turn on and off different topics to control comparison.

Furthermore, users can share their constellation on social media to get others engaged while further promoting conversation about their collective news reading patterns. (Fig. 06)

06. Users can share a visual summary of their news interests on social media.

Invision Prototype: https://invis.io/H8DMROGT2

Zine:

9.26.2017: Reflection

I feel like I gained critical eyes to decode information I get everyday, while analyzing different news venues in the lense of communication design. Now, I guess my approach in consuming information is different than before. I now try to see how information provider forms the information delivery using visual forms, types of words and images, and structure to influence my take on the information they provide, instead of trusting the information provided to me in a very naive way. While trying to help people become better informed citizens, I feel like I became better informed citizen.

I also learned how organization of information helps or hinders user’s understanding of the information and how we, as a designer, could influence people to have different views on the information provided to them. Through practicing collaborative presentations, analyzing news venues, and developing design intervention ideas, I learned different ways to organize and present information. I think knowing how sailent design decisions could have great impact on user’s take on the information is a vital skill that all UX or interaction designers should have.

While preparing for presentations and Zine, I learned complimentary roles visuals and spoken words have on articulation of the information. I came to the conclusion that maybe either one is not enough.

For the design intervention we proposed, I feel good about the concept, but I feel like details — like organization, interaction sequence–could be improved further. Based on feedback we’ve got today, I realized that just showing their filter bubble and comparisons with broader community might not be enough to help change people’s readership; but at the same time, I believe it is fair let users decide on their own based on information we provide to them, without imposing our opinion too much.

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