This project is done while I was partner and UX/UI Designer at Frontwise
Project: Frontwise for FTM visit portfolio here
My role in project: Conceptual and Strategic work, Graphic, UI/UX Design, Marketing materials
A news platform aimed at user participation
Follow The Money is a dutch participative platform for investigative journalism. At Follow the Money, user generated quotes can end up on the frontpage, users can add ‘shouts’ directly besides the text, members can add comments or join a Panel where their expertise is used to gain information on complex subjects. This way, we at Frontwise designed and developed the whole platform with the users in mind. Many new functions and concepts were created to put FTM in the lead as an innovative journalism platform. This functionality, when combined with the excellent journalism, solidified FTM's position as one of the best independent news platforms of the Netherlands, and allowed them to successfully switch from advertising revenues to a subscription based model.
Article Page Design
Reading comfort has been the main priority during the design phase of the article page. The text is presented with enough whitespace to create clarity. The Header image is displayed large and provides the reader context about the story. The article page has a lot of tools such as sharing, commenting, folding texts, streamers, side-line commenting etc. The challenge for the design was to present this in a logical way and to keep things clear.
Follow the Money has known for a long time that the comments below articles can contain extremely valueable insights. At Frontwise we made sure that members have have a great user experience when commenting, so they stay motivated to contribute to the platform. Gamification strategies are deployed to reward members for their input.
Commenting & Shouting
To unlock the true potential of comments, at Frontwise we designed and developed a custom commenting system. With this system, users can reward each other with points to make it easier to find the ‘pearls in the sand’. Comments placed by FTM editors are aligned on the right to allow you to see the conversation between readers and editors in a way instantly familiar from messaging apps.
Sometimes a comment has more impact if you can read it in ‘context’ of the article. Shouts are meant to be the ‘tweets’ of commenting. They consist of a short message that readers can insert right next to the line in the article they are commenting on.
The investigative journalism that FTM conducts can result in multiple articles per topic. For these cases ‘Dossiers’ were created in which all the articles are gathered in one timeline. At Frontwise we designed a viewer that shows a timeline of such a group of articles. This timeline is filled with articles written by an author, search results and even with tags. This allow the readers to see the crosslinks between articles, writers and topics. The bigger picture is very important in investigative journalism, and the timeline helps readers to see how a story unfolds through time. Together with tagging this creates a network view that readers can explore to dig deeper into topics.
The users of the platform also have a companion app that helps the user to stay updated about everything that happens on the FTM platform. For this we designed an app that notifies you on all platform activity. The user is in full control about the amount and type of notifications it wants to receive.