Blog Six: New York Times: A Nation Challenged


I found an older article from the New York Times published in 2002. It’s an interactive story about the fathers of lost fire fighters and officers in NYC one year after September 11th. The story is extremely intricate, thorough and gut-wrenching. Even more than that, the online piece is extremely interactive. We see the fathers and can learn more about them and their sons. It also takes us to a whole article about each father and his coping since the incident. There are also audio elements.

This story used a lot of interactive elements. The designers used CSS to design the page and add the color scheme. On the individual bio pages, we can clearly see that they had to use div’s and boxes to separate the information. There are also some jQuery effects present. They use some shadowing, fade-in, fade-out, audio plug-ins and even the next and previous buttons.

This all adds to the content of the story. It’s very enjoyable and engaging. The effects aren’t overbearing and they flow well with the site.


Blog Four: Rwanda Film Festival

I absolutely love the simplicity and color scheme of this website. The website is clean, crisp and easy to navigate. It focuses on the rich visuals from the featured films to draw in the viewer’s attention. I appreciate how it has earthy tones mixed with a few standout colors like blue.

I want to make my True/False site similar to this one. I want the focus to be largely visuals with a simplistic background. The focus is the film not the website design. It should be easy to read and navigate like this one. They used strong, rich visuals and transition effects. The pictures from the films the designer used even has similar color schemes but enough to differentiate between photos.

I want to learn how to transition in my CSS similar to this website. I also like the connection to social on the sidebar as it scrolls down the screen. That could be a convenient technique to use on my own website designs.

One thing that was interesting to me was that there were no video or audio samples on the website. That might be for case of infringement because I don’t know much about Rwandan regulation on those types of things but that could have enhanced the user experience.

The theme of the site is “Reflection: 10 Years Hillywood”. The film festival will show some of the best of the past 10 years. The intended audience is for interested viewers both past and future.

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Blog 2: The Root

The Root is a subsidiary of Slate focusing on Black news. While covering all the major headlines, it’s a place to post opinions, learn about culture and as a forum for thought-provoking insight that everyone can benefit from.

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I often frequent this website. I appreciate the content, cross-cultural sensitivity but most of all – the user-friendly layout. The Root meets all five of Krug’s guidelines.

There is a clear visual hierarchy on this site. The latest and most popular news has larger cover photos and is drawing more attention. Even still there is still a tab for exclusive breaking news that is continually updated. After scrolling past the headlines, you get to the categorized content such as culture, film, videos and history – which is my favorite tab.

The site is divided into three main columns. The color schemes and layout are easy on the eyes and user-friendly. It’s extremely easy to find what you’re looking for but also to just browse content. There are a lot of clear, vivid pictures to draw in the reader. You can look at the picture and see what the topic of the story is. Some sites make it to where you HAVE to read the headline to even get an idea of what the article will be about.

Another thing that I really love about The Root is the fact that it’s customized to your visit. It keeps track of your last visit to the site and tells you if any new stories have come up. Not to mention, it does this without you signing up for any email list or subscription.

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The website is low on clutter. It’s a minimalist design that packs in a lot of content neatly. I wouldn’t change anything about it’s format. It’s one of my favorite sites and I visit on a daily basis.

Blog One: One by one, Missouri’s black towns disappear – Al Jazeera

A recent Mizzou graduate wrote this piece on Black towns in our home state of Missouri and how they have been disproportionately disenfranchised. The piece is an interactive story featuring pictures, audio and external supporting links. 

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I absolutely love this piece. The author truly captures the devastation, hurt and hope of the people in these defunct towns. HIs language and description makes the reader feel as if they are right there in the Pinhook, Pennytown and Kinloch. 

Not only do I love the content, I love the format. This piece is written in long form. There are five chapters which include an introduction, a chapter about each of the three towns and a conclusion bringing all of the stories together. While this story isn’t extremely interactive like the ones we’ve read in class, it definitely brings in components that make it a journey to navigate. I love the fact that the author brings in external elements to support his facts. He links the reader to stories printed during that time so we can see what America was reading when these tragedies occurred. This is more than just a quick read. It makes you want to learn more about these towns and those like it around the nation. 

I wish the author would have included more pictures and more interviews. Nothing compares to hearing the voice of the people effected and seeing their faces. I would have liked to see an interactive video or tour of the defunct towns as well.

Overall, I enjoyed this piece. I believe the author used great storytelling methods and effective multimedia to create a true experience.