A tool for browsing moving stories and long-form video at #SNDMakes

Team green: Moving Stories

  • Kyle Ellis is a designer for CNN Digital and digital director for SND
  • Tory Hargro is visual designer manager at USA Today
  • Frank Mina is deputy managing editor at the San Francisco Chronicle
  • Zach Wise is faculty at Medill School, designer developer at Northwestern University Knight Lab
  • Adam Baumgartner is a junior at Ball State University
  • Tyler Fisher is a Knight Lab student fellow
  • Missy Wilson is a senior at Indiana University

In their own words:

This weekend at #SNDMakes our team set out to answer the question, “How might we design a video experience that allows for variable time commitments?”

After our initial group discussions, we arrived at a design solution that enables users to consume video content at their own pace in a full screen gallery-like display without sacrificing the narrative. Text and graphic elements can be placed on an overlay atop the video so the user can get a quick-hit of content without necessarily having to watch each video segment.

Our prototype allows various parts of the story to be put into a linear narrative for the reader. They can dig deeper in some layers if they want and have time, but they can also quickly navigate through the story.

For the complete behind-the-scenes look at how Moving Stories came together, visit their project on HackDash.

Chunking long-form video

The current prototype is built off of a slider motif developed for Knight Lab and NPR’s App Template, which allowed us to use a spreadsheet to architect the ordering and textual elements of the video clips.

This approach allowed us to take content from a six-minute New York Times video and its accompanying story and parse it into an experience that could be consumed in 30-45 seconds without sacrificing content. Looping video clips are accompanied by short, easily-consumable text to speed up the process. Slightly longer video clips providing personal narrative and connection are also included so the users don’t lose that part of the experience.

We also used an existing news video from a local television station to demonstrate that broadcast media can use the tool to create more engaging, efficient web videos from their existing assets. By breaking the video into smaller modules, cutting talking heads, and unnecessary scenes, then adding concise text, we were able to tell the same story in a smaller time frame. This modular approach would also allow news producers to add new information and video segments to the presentation as the story changes.


Check out the other ideas: Project Skim | Backstory | Sluice


New fundraising campaign: Do you love SND and care about its future? Show your support, and leave us a tip.