rebecca's WIP

I consume so many different kinds of amazing stories — written, visual, interactive — on a daily, or at the very least weekly, basis as part of my job and my own personal interest. I also think that as a designer and storyteller, it’s important for me to experience the ways other people are telling stories and develop my own critical perspective in responsive to them. Partially inspired by Rachel Schallom’s “Best of Visual Storytelling” newsletter, and partially driven by my own desire to exhaustively record most things I do and think about, I’ve decided to start posting my favorite experiments in storytelling on a weekly basis. The result will be not much writing, mostly links (sometimes new, sometimes old), and hopefully a nice archive of inspiration for myself and others.

This week:

Faces of an Epidemic (New Yorker)
A photo essay about the opioid epidemic, that uses a tap story format for both desktop and mobile. I have some critiques of aspects of the interaction design on mobile, but I am generally interested in this kind of slide or card-based format where stories are broken out into small, discrete chunks.

Fragments of a Life: A Curbside Mystery (The New York Times)
This “live journalism” piece is not new, but it’s so interesting and won lots of awards — rightfully so. Its archive detective-story proposition reminds me of the play Say Something Bunny in journalistic form.

Flint is a Place (Created by Zackary Canepari)
A “cross platform episodic documentary” about Flint, Michigan. The chapter called Briana is a beautiful use of scroll to present small bits of content in a diaristic way.

Las Vegas Shooting Timeline Video (The New York Times)
Video becomes a vehicle for a new kind of investigative storytelling that is format-specific.

Boko Haram Photo Essay (The New York Times)
Striking scroll-based photo essay punctuated by an article in multiple pieces. The way the photos dim as you scroll is a nice example of form << >> content in perfect alignment.

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I AM THAT GIRL is a national organization helping girls to transform self-doubt in to self-love by providing a safe space to connect and have honest conversations about things that matter.

For #GIRL2016, a one-day summit hosted at Los Angeles’ historic El Rey Theater, I AM THAT GIRL asked us to create an interactive experience geared toward their mission. To do so, we created a pop-up audio storytelling installation to capture the individual moments of self-celebration, and broadcast them within the vibrant #GIRL2016 community.

#GIRL2016 Installation from Rebecca Lieberman on Vimeo.

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Title: Elevator Departures / Arrivals
Creators: Shir David and Rebecca Lieberman
Materials: Projection with live flight data (projector, laptop, custom software written in javascript)
Description: Elevator Departures / Arrivals is a playful data sculpture that streams live flight information from nearby NYC airports.

Elevator Arrivals is a playful data projection that streams live flight information from nearby NYC airports. Evoking scrolling LED displays traditionally used for public signage and advertisements, this sculpture invites people to be imaginative in an otherwise mundane moment of waiting for the elevator. When a user pushes the button for the elevator, the signage pulls in live flight data and displays information for the next flight departing from NYC. The projection is a window and connection point into another place, transforming a banal action into something playful and allowing people to momentarily transport themselves somewhere else.

This is a prototype of a larger project created in 24 hours at the Ace Hotel Residency.

You can view a web prototype that demonstrates the software here.

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Comps for ITP Thesis Archive Site (work in progress), created using Sketch. These are the comps for the home screen, minus the internal pages.

The color and iconography is not yet set, so today I brainstormed some additional ways to use color on the homepage to make it feel more fun and dynamic. Some ideas:

a dynamic color (from a set palette of 6-10 options) on reload?

or a slow animation of color that fades almost imperceptibly over time

take advantage of all the horizontal scrolling and do simple color transitions as you horizontally scroll (like this example but horizontal and not vertical)

or the whole site background color could change when you hover over the project rectangles, depending on what color they are (based on category)?


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A very belated posting of the slides from the Rapid Prototyping Interactions Workshop, given at ITP with Jingwen Zhu in October 2016 and January 2017.

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For the IDEO CoLab Hackathon, our group’s brief was called “Revealed Realities.” The main question that our challenge posed was: in what ways can we reveal invisible information in our environments (home, office, cities, etc.) using Internet of Things and Augmented Reality?

The following prototype was created in four hours with Matthew Young, Windsor Cristobal and Jonathan Melendez-Davidson at IDEO Cambridge in March 2017.

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I’m doing a huge blog update on all my projects, so this is way, way overdue. Back in November (omg), we did a user test of Prototype #1 of the Field Guide to Whale Creek, including both the audio guide as well as the printed field guide itself. We took a generous group of testers up to Whale Creek on a Sunday morning, back when it was warm out, and learned a ton about what worked, what didn’t and what we need to change.

Some documentation below (and a preview of how the pamphlet is shaping up above!)

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For the ITP halloween party, Shir and I volunteered to make a halloween-themed GIF photobooth. I repurposed some code I had written for another project to make an easy and fun screen-based solution. Aside from a couple of annoying technical things — like noise from the camera because of the lighting — it was super successful. We bought a bunch of masks and decoration to make it extra-themey for people. Code is here on Github and a preview of some GIFs are below.

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The Field Guide website is making progress…thanks to lots of inspiration from hazard signage and nautical iconography. This process has also made me a complete convert to Sketch, which makes the development workflow so much easier whether I’m working with a hired developer or prototyping my own designs before I implement them.

Next step is to try using Principle or Marvel to do UI animations.

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