Efren Martinez designer
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NewsAide

NewsAide

A guide helping users transform one perspective news consumption to a more holistic view. NewsAide is an online resource that consolidates best practices for interacting and navigating within the world of news for those who come across news, are learning to navigate within news, or interact with news daily.

Roles: Design research, visual design, exhibition design

Timeline: 11 weeks, 10 weeks (exhibition)

The Idea

The consumption of news has shifted from a traditional printed source towards an almost completely digital consumption. With 6-in-10 of U.S. adults using social media as their primary source for news and with the internet making information creation and dissemination a simple task, the rise of misinformation has surged. I decided to tackle news space and create an online resource that allowed users to educate themselves on the aspects of news. From defining what fake news is and isn't, to personal biases, to the different types of news sources, to why we have an urge to share strong news.

The Research

To get a better understand as to how users current interact with news, I gathered and conducted research on users and their interactions with news and social media. The research brought up the idea that even though people do see and speak on the news, very little people fact check or interact with what they see.

The Website

For each section I wanted to create a connection between the headline for the section and the bold background image. The web guide has a total of 7 sections, "What is fake news," "Unreliable resources," "Identify your bias," "Be curious. Be reflective," "Pause before you share," "Verify in 6 steps," "News knowledge quiz." Each section with its own information and accompanying GIFs.

Check it out →

The Quiz

The addition of the quiz is meant for users to test the knowledge that they've learned with the guide and put it to the test. All that is provided is the article headline, date published, author, source, and an excerpt of the original post. If users answer incorrectly, an explanation and a link to the original article are provided.

The Exhibition

The continuation of bold contrast was translated into the exhibition. through the use of color and typography. I wanted people passing by to get a sense of being overwhelmed by the headlines on the wall and be drawn into the project through the colored acrylic sign that has the project information.

The headlines that make up the space are a combination of both real and fake news headlines. The fake news headlines in the mix are the some of the top shared fake news articles for the years 2017 and 2018.

The GIFs

While researching news, most of the ideas involve complex explanations in order to comprehend. This was a challenge that would be difficult for the average user. I turned to GIFs to be used as a communication vessel for the complex ideas. GIFs have the ability to engage with audiences both emotionally and visually, thus are capable of making complex ideas more digestible.

Reflection

If there's one thing I learned while working on this project it's that news is SO complex with many factors playing into it. This project could have gone one of two ways, information heavy with lots of data to show the impact of fake news or a bolder statement that simplified data for the everyday user. Let me say that even though I went with the latter, there were many moments where I was second guessing myself.

In the end, I believe I was able to successfully create a bold statement with strong contrast that was translated well into the exhibition space through the use of color and typography. The important information/ideas about news were condensed and simplified to be digestible for the everyday user.