INTERACTIVE PACKAGES

Interactive packages and web-based special sections make all the less exciting trappings of web design suddenly seem like an addicting book — nearly impossible to stop chipping away at until it's finished. 

As I came into my online-oriented role on The Harbinger, I learned more and more about what made an interactive package special — the transitions, the movement and flow, the potential video options, the ways to most optimally enhance the reader's experience and keep them on the page. 

Those skills were my main tools for the following packages, which span topics from capping off a decade, to the sweeping impacts of climate change, to the 2020 Iowa Caucus Campaign Trail. 

STORY BEHIND THE STORY

"The 2010's Project"

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The 2010's Project is a 14-layer interactive web package that aims to cover all pertinent bases on the sweeping impact of the last decade on students, parents and others. 

 

I used web page software with Carrd.co and Exposure to build each interactive page with the print section's color scheme. On top of the five print stories, seven stories and two podcasts were added for my online section. 

 

In the first 24 hours alone, the package had over 1,100 unique page views. 

STORY BEHIND THE PACKAGE

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As soon as I got the go-ahead from my parents, I was pushing the 65 speed limit on the highway on my way to Cedar Rapids, IA. All of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates were converging there the next day for the Democrats Hall of Fame event, save Biden — and it was a perfect mid-summer opportunity to further my reporting, photography and field videography skills.   

I was able to meet the candidates and ask them questions about their experiences and personal lives (Buttigieg is a big barbecue fan, evidently), and it was a great opportunity for me to learn the art of hustling. 

It was an experience that taught me the virtue of planting yourself in the midst of an event and reporting to the fullest extent you can with the materials you have. 

"On The Iowa Campaign Trail"

STORY BEHIND THE PACKAGE

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As a government-backed report on the potential effects of climate change set to occur in the future was rolled out silently by the White House, The Harbinger's editorial board proposed a special section for the next print issue. 

We ran with it and covered climate change in the midwest, the implications in the oil industry and beyond — as well as several op-eds critiquing the handling of the situation (one of which I wrote). 

I designed the interactive package that was released with the print issue based off of the print design and formatted it as a single-page, multi-story interactive. 

"Global Warning"

STORY BEHIND THE PACKAGE

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'Into The Future' began as a story idea about the implications that automation had in the future job market. But it soon turned into a special section on the forecasts laid out for the future as a whole.

The uncertainty was overwhelming, but locating experts, having thorough conversations with them and drawing the most pertinent information on their respective industries was a meaningful step in my third semester with The Harbinger.

As well as packaging the stories and videos attached to the project, I personally worked on a bit about the future of print journalism through a Q&A with the Editor-in-Chief of the Shawnee Mission Post, a digital news site covering the Prairie Village, Mission and Leawood areas.

"Into The Future"

STORY BEHIND THE PACKAGE

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©2019 by Benjamin A. Henschel.