America Elect! – Critique

by George DuMontier

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.42.35 AM

Here’s the link to the Guardian’s interactive story called America Elect!

http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2012/nov/06/america-elect-graphic-novel

Be warned, it’s a little out of date. It’s from the 2012 presidential election, but I really like the design. It’s themed as a graphic novel, including sketches and animations. As the user scrolls down the page, the story is told.

The animations are incredible. It uses jQuery to know how far the user has scrolled down the page. That way the browser knows when to trigger the animations. Even subtle animations, like Mitt Romney turning his head to the side really add to the overall immersion of the story.

I also really appreciate the parallax effects. That’s when different objects scroll at different speeds. The 3-D effect of the crowd holding signs is a good example. Parallax effects can be disorienting and they’re often over used, but I think they work very well for interactive scrollable stories like this one.

Using a graphic novel to tell a journalistic story is also a good idea. The format is fresh, and appeals to younger audiences. It’s sort of a long, animated political cartoon. I think it truly makes this story multimedia.

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