Design Camp Session Six recap: The feature’s on features
This past Thursday was the last session of the summer for the Design Camp. Jackie Hai from the Amherst Wire led Daniel, Joey, Lauren, Greg, Kevin Koehler, Ben Leis, and myself through some of the different considerations that go into designing pages for special features.
If you’re not familiar with Jackie and the work of the Amherst Wire then it’s definitely worth checking out the work they have done for special features.
Several of the points that came out of the session that are worth repeating:
- Plan in advance: From creating wireframes to deciding what you’re going to include it’s important to start from a solid base to prevent headaches down the road.
- Keep the design fresh: If your news organization is going to go through the effort of producing special content then make the online presentation reflective of how much work went into the section. Don’t just recycle a traditional story template; create something that highlights the content and topic of the feature. Think of feature sections as a way for your online staff to showcase what they can do.
- Showcase what’s important: If you’re producing multimedia content along with print stories for your feature make sure you emphasize these in an attractive way. Simply providing links to videos, photo galleries, interviews, etc. is not enough. Frequently multimedia aspects are the most eye-catching aspects of a story so it doesn’t serve your news organization very well to hide them away behind simple text links.
- Bring in extras: If you’re working at a small news organization and covering a much larger story don’t feel like you have to cover every aspect of it in your feature. As the saying goes: do what you do best and link to the rest. This will allow your staff to focus their time and energy on producing and designing stellar content for what you can cover.
There’s much more in the session which is embedded above with all the audio as well so check that out.
The session concluded this summer’s Web Design Camp but there will most likely be a session toward the end of the summer that covers what people accomplished with their summer projects. While the sessions are over we are still here to answer any and all design-related questions that come up during your work. If you’re stuck and need help head over to the forum or shoot an email to us.