Today marks the end of the second week of the Knight-Mozilla Learning Lab, an experiment in which 63 “mad scientists” with ideas for how to improve digital storytelling have been thrown together in a common digital space to learn and refine those digital ideas.
In the first week, we heard lab interface designer Aza Raskin speak about the power of the prototype; Storify co-founder Burt Herman offered up the ingredients of a successful news startup; and New York Times graphics editor Amanda Cox demonstrated the power of data and visualizations.
In the second week, Chris Heilmann, Mozilla’s international developer evangelist, discussed increasingly influential web technologies; jQuery creator John Resig offered guidelines for creating successful open-source projects; and Adaptive Path co-founder Jesse James Garrett detailed the significance of user experience design in product development.
Each lab participant is required to post a weekly “thinking out loud” blog, as well as a final software product proposal. As MoJo faculty team member Phillip Smith pointed out in an earlier Idea Lab post, the goal of the entire Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership is to “stop yammering and start hammering.” And with paper, video, prototyping software and code, that’s exactly what many of the Learning Lab participants have already been up to.
So, as a tribute to the prototyping/brainstorming theme of the first week’s lectures, here’s a rundown of some prototypes and visualizations that emerged in the first “thinking out loud” blog assignment. Help grow the community by checking out these thought experiments, offering your feedback, or adding onto them with your own twist:
- Participant Michael Wells conceived of a tagging interface for comments.
- Computer engineer Manuel Pinto offered up a working prototype for a people-powered news platform.
- Filmmaker and journalist Jason Spingarn-Koff offered a glimpse into crowd-powered video feeds.
- Nicole Cifani, a new media producer, sketched a quick flip concept for discovering content.
- Amy Zerba, an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, created a video to demonstrate her idea for consolidating news, social media and work into a single space.
- Sofware developer Laurian Gridinoc served up photographic evidence of the thought process behind an attempt to parse through the diverse information in news articles.
- Web/mobile developer David Bello experimented with an interface for extracting elements of a news story and allowing users to play with data.
- Kersten A. Riechers, co-founder of quäntchen + glück, gave a peek of what a crowd-powered error-reporting system could look like.
- Open-source guru John Tynan visualized a way to improve Public Radio Roadtrip.
- Web developer Artem Dudarev had a working prototype of Locovidi, which connects video to locations.
- Regnard Raquedan, a Philippines-based writer, gave us a “wiki-fied news dashboard.”
- Journalist and web developer Seth Vincent looked to social media for inspiration about how users can contribute to news beats.
- And yours truly toyed with what one aspect of a “news hover box” tool could look like.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, merely those that came out in the week’s first assignment; plenty of awesome visual aides were in the original Project Mojo entries, and you can find a list of all Learning Lab participant blog entries here. Comment liberally if I missed any good visualizations of cool product ideas, and keep an eye on what emerges in the second week of blog posts!