Lab Reports

Developing for mobile: I thought I was screwed

Jul 18 2012

“Mobile first” … “Mobile first” … “Mobile first” … This is the phrase that Executive Director John Clark pounded into our heads since day one of, a news site about North Carolina politics that is designed for mobile users. In fact, I occasionally hear John’s voice in my sleep, enthusiastically chanting “mobile first.” Weird […]

Introducing The Roll Call: application tracks General Assembly votes and bills

Jul 05 2012

As part of the WhichWayNC project, we recently launched The Roll Call, a Web application aimed at providing a simple and intuitive means of exploring the North Carolina General Assembly and its voting history. At its core, the application breaks down voting results by legislator, bill and chamber. It also displays the status of bills […]

Diving into analytics for mobile

Jun 28 2012

One our goals for the project is to achieve 50 percent of our site visits on mobile devices. Like all news outlets, we analyze our website statistics to help us figure out how to reach our goals. The problem with tracking both mobile and desktop usage for one website is recognizing the differences in website […]

Adventures in responsive design

Jun 21 2012

Since the beginning of the project, “mobile first” has been our mantra. We’re writing, shooting and designing content for the growing number of people getting their news on phones and tablets. For me, a Web designer used to working with static desktop sites, this has been particularly challenging. Developers Matt Hayes, Tony Mantovani and […]

Creating a mobile-first logo: a designer’s frustration

Jun 06 2012

Imagine trying to juggle three balls. Let’s call them Simplicity, Appropriateness and Memorability. Now, picture having three more balls thrown at you, one at a time. We’ll call these Shape, Size and Versatility. You have a moment of panic that you won’t be able to keep all of them in the air, but then you […]

Shooting for the small screen

Jun 06 2012

On the third day of the WhichWayNC project, the three videographers decided to create a video that would introduce the purpose of the project. Carter McCall, Mika Chance and I wanted to show viewers why they should care about the information given to them in motion graphics, blog posts and articles. We conducted interviews in […]

Creating news for mobile consumption

May 29 2012

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Angry Birds. The list of applications available on smart phones could go on for days, and according to statistics from the Digital Buzz Blog, that’s just the way users want it. The average American spends almost three hours a day on his or her smart phone — that’s more than twice the […]

Politics, mobile phones and paper airplanes

May 29 2012

I don’t remember the last time I played with LEGOs. Oh wait, yes I do. Our summer project began with a group exercise involving the rudimentary, but surprisingly applicable toy. We tapped into our “creative sides” and put together a plastic block landscape that somehow explained to a fifth grader why voting matters. Fortunately, the […]

Are Chapel Hill’s parks safe?

May 03 2012

Earlier Masculí. this semester, the body of  Sgt. Shane Scott Pease was found by a jogger on the Bolin Creek Trail, a local greenway in Chapel Hill. The event seemed like a plot cheap nfl jerseys from N.C.I.S. brought to life. So how safe are Chapel Hill’s parks? Since 2011 there have been 42 violations of […]