Derek Watkins‘s work piqued my interest because his ethos relates to my design methodology, and his approaches relates to an independent study I’m doing this semester.

Watkins works at New York Times where he tells interprets how to tell stories in ways more than just written word and still image. He includes animations and interactive elements to add layers of information to the otherwise standard scrolling-interaction the reader needs to go through. I appreciate his statement in the Eyeo 2017 video, that it’s not about “video journalism” or “photojournalism”, it’s about understanding the nature of the content and what form best communicates the essence of the content to readers. That sentiment of identifying concept and purpose before creating form relates to my design practice; it’s an approach I notice people from other disciplines have trouble grasping– people (myself included) struggle with ambiguity and strive for a tangible grasp of what the thing they’re making is.

Nevertheless, when we let go of preconceived notions of what a form should be, we evolve news sites from pages of text to interactive data visualizations. I hope to apply similar approaches, both conceptually and formally, to an independent study I’m working on where I want to communicate the different lenses I’ve interpreted The Little Prince through in a web format.

Above: images from Watkin’s work in New York Times articles.

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