By Zhao, Hong
The Wall Street Journal made a multimedia project on lobotomy for veterans from the Second World War. The project includes three parts, a documentary and a case study. And they tell stories through pictures, text, short videos and infographics.
On the ride side of the text list related document files, pictures or videos. The topic of the project is The Lobotomy Files and expanded stories behind those files. The thumbnails give more hint than just a hyperlink. When readers click a file, it actually unfold the document paper naturally inserted into the content. Thus, it won’t disorient readers to somewhere else, even better than “Open link in a new window/tab.” And at the bottom of part 1 and part 2, a navigation bar is adopted to show the highlights of the documents.
Mostly used are historical pictures. In the second part, an infographic illustrates the lobotomy surgery. Except videos and pictures taken in recent period, the whole project come in mostly the color of muddy yellow, brown and gray, including the background color of the documents and the draft-looking graphic, setting up a retro atmosphere.
For the website navigation, it only needs to scroll down to read, corresponding to readers’ reading habit. At the first page of each story, there is a prompt “scroll” on the bottom of the picture. Otherwise, people might be confused. There is an option bar on the top to jump to other parts. There are picture series in each story. Readers need to scroll down to transfer to caption and then another picture. Unfortunately, readers can only scroll to go back or forward. It might be better if the four points on the right can work as a link to each picture.
Overall, the project integrates pictures, videos, graphics with text to tell the stories, and the way document files appear is effective and timely.
Here is the link to the project: http://projects.wsj.com/lobotomyfiles/