Teaching Examples

Interactive graphic: Tasers in Houston
March 7, 2007, 12:09 am
Filed under: design, graphics, journalism, online

The awesome team of Rodrigo del Castillo and Alberto Cuadra at the Houston Chronicle has a new graphic online: Tasers & Justice in Houston (thanks, Angela!). While the subject matter is not as interesting to me as the team’s earlier Stoves for Guatemala, it’s quite exciting to see such masterly 3-D work and design at a news Web site.

Apparently the Chronicle recognizes greatness — they actually have BOTH packages linked on the site’s front page!

Here are a few suggestions for the Chronicle and the team:

  1. Ditch the pop-up window. Design a proper full-page treatment just for these awesome packages. Design a graceful, understated way to place advertising or sponsorship on the same page with the graphic.
  2. Link that Chron.com logo on the graphic page! Yes, that big, attractive logo in the upper left corner. Why is that not a link?
  3. Free these two guys up to do more work like this. Hook them up with your long-term projects editors. Pick their brains for ideas related to any story that is two or three days out from running in print.
  4. Promo all their future work on the front page of the print paper. Provide a direct URL to the graphic. See what happens next.

I can’t be the only person who loves this stuff.

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2 Comments so far
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“Apparently the Chronicle recognizes greatness — they actually have BOTH packages linked on the site’s front page!”

Bravo for that. The Chronicle even has a variety of multimedia/podcasts/interactive project links on the front, but they do miss a big opportunity by NOT linking to a list or index page of more interactives.

My gripe is that I think both of these projects were produced last year, no? I could be wrong, but I swear I remember seeing the tasers project in that same spot a few months ago. Good to have it up, but there does come a point when that link becomes wallpaper and should be switched out.

Several people have complained about links dropping off fronts quickly. But to keep the site fresh, we simply can’t keep the links up there for long periods of time. Depending on how often your readers visit your site, a couple of hours could be too long of a shelf life (although I do think multimedia should stay up longer than a standard story).

Comment by Melissa Worden

Ha, you’re right, Melissa. I dug in and discovered that the story ran Jan. 14. That is a bit OLD to be on the front.

You’re absolutely right that they should have an easy-to-find index page that features infographics and other multimedia. That would be great.

And they should do more packages like these!

Comment by Mindy McAdams

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