Page Design

Recent posts

Showcasing Your Data Assets

Data-rich resources created in the course of your reporting—be they GoogleMaps, filterable tables, bang-up applications or some other interactive—can be long-term resources for your audience. We have found several of these resources (e.g., Shale Play, school test scores) to be among some of our most regularly visited pages long after their initial launch dates.

Apps, maps and tables like ShalePlay, shown here, ought to be displayed in a way that makes them as useful and accessible to your audience as possible.

It is key, then, that we work to make them easy to locate.

As such, we have developed a relatively simple, four-step process to help you showcase the types of resources that readers might want to refer back to again and again. They are as follows:

1. Place interactives (e.g., GoogleMaps, filterable tables, images linking to bigger apps, etc.) in your posts before the jump so that readers see the added content and useful data before deciding whether to click through or scroll down. When linking to a previously published map or interactive, use a screenshot of that feature and hyperlink it to the actual page or app or place where the action happens. Continue reading

Five Layout Tips For Prettier Posts

Team, you may not hear from him much, but our StateImpact Designer, Danny DeBelius, is always watching your work. He’s noticed some areas for improvement when it comes to our page design and making our posts visually compelling, which he outlines here. Enjoy! -Elise

1. Use logos sparingly, if at all.

Click to enlarge.

While logos are readily available and a tempting target for topics light on visual opportunities, the disappointing truth is that logos do little to draw users into your post. Worse still, a logo recycled from an earlier post can erroneously signal to your reader that they’ve already read the surrounding content; recycled art of any kind runs this risk. A photograph is always preferable, and photos that include human subjects are generally the most effective visual tool to put eyeballs on your post. The same principle holds true for selecting featured image art for your topic buildout pages. Logos are rarely effective, expedient as they may be.
Continue reading

Page Design Webinar

Here’s a recording of Wednesday’s page design webinar, in which we examined four before and after examples from across the Argo Network. (The recording weighs in at roughly one hour and five minutes, so it may take a moment for the content to load. If you have trouble accessing the recording, let us know.)

The webinar video is available here.

For those of you that missed it, The presentation was divided into three parts:

  • In part 1, we walked through 4 before and after examples from across the Argo network discussing the rationale behind the changes I made.
  • In part 2, I recreated a post from scratch, and highlighted some of the techniques we discussed in part 1. (cropping, creating asides, using sub-headings)
  • Part 3 was a Q&A in which we discussed any formatting and design challenges that weren’t covered in the presentation.