Roundtable: Visual Storytelling
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facilitated by Ruth Miller
Areas of interest
- Tech products/practices
- Development: how to actually design an infographics
- Packaging and distribution
Tech Products and Practices
- Helps to have a tech-savvy staff member, and get software into as many hands as possible.
- Can be difficult to get software.
- Open-source or low-cost alternatives can be available: GIMP and Sketch (Photoshop, but web only), Inkscape (Illustrator), Quantum GIS (Arcmap), Mapbox, Tilemill, Mangomaps (mapping).
Mapping: Why are other mapping products better than Google maps?
- Customized look and feel.
- Easier to assign data to marker.
- Arcmap and Quantum are better for analysis than display.
- Mango and Tilemill are better for display/communication.
- Google maps is useful when collaborating with lots of people.
How to Design Content
- Storytelling: What story (or part of the story) do you tell? How do you narrow down and focus?
- Collaboration is key.
- Context can be visually supported rather than explicitly laid out in text.
- Looking for language
- People may have different kinds of questions: interpret quickly what you're trying to pull.
- Does the wording or the imagery come first? It varies.
- Decide whether a story needs imagery or should be an infographic.
- How to decide what to focus on: trial and error; sketch and doodle, even if you think you can't draw well; train yourself to be brief; get good pens but cheap paper, brainstorm ideas to explore, sketch stories, storyboard.
- Abby VanMuijen's videos on global poverty
- Noun Project: a site whose goal is to create icons for every noun than exists.
- Edward Tufte: an example of narowing down story to its most essential components
- For kids Photo Voice