Reuters The Wider Image
Reuters The Wider Image
Simple, well executed, with lots of nice details. Reuters the wider image App sets out the case for the importances of professional photojournalism at a time when the equally important, citizen journalism and crowd-sourced imagery is on the rise.
Reuters The Wider Image
The Wider Image is an iPad application to visually explore the world through news photography by Reuters. The app brings images and information to life through a unique contextual storytelling experience. It puts photography at the heart of the story and expands through a variety of interactive formats. The Wider Image introduces readers to the photographers behind the lens, and presents stories which inform, entertain and educate. It differs from common news photography experiences by focusing on human narratives, quality curation, interactivity and context.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
Reuters is the world’s largest multimedia news provider. Its photographers have captured some of the most iconic news images of our time. Reuters wanted to establish a new approach to visual storytelling, combining the power of photography with deeper context to give greater impact and engagement. Reuters wanted to take a more experimental approach with the way users discover and digest stories. Whereas most news experiences begin with a story headline, this app would lead with high-impact images, which open to reveal more depth. Reuters had conceived a vocabulary of story formats, from interactive images to data visualisations. This variety presented Method with various challenges in building a clear and cohesive visual framework. The solution needed to balance a growing archive of material with fresh incoming content, whilst offering a space for users to personalise.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
Method sought to create a superior storytelling experience that contrasts with existing news publishing models. The design team explored various ways to unify mixed media. A major design challenge was to establish a layout, navigation and functional specification which worked consistently across multiple story formats. Ultimately, the final design facilitates serendipitous discovery of content, allowing users to share photos, follow photographers and favorite stories for later viewing. The design team developed unique methods for browsing – by implementing an "Explore" function that gave viewers the capability to browse photos by location, photographer and themes.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
In order to design the app, Method worked closely with Reuters to obtain a full understanding of its vision for content and interaction. Using various digital tools for concept and prototyping, Method went through various iterations to ensure that the app positioned quality photojournalism first. Being highly visual, the design itself retains qualities of minimalism to give primary attention to the content. In an effort to maintain brand consistency that Reuters is known for, the Method design team worked within the Reuters brand guidelines to create a design and interface which utilized neutral colors and an organic feel for the most effective lean-forward user experience. Simplicity, efficiency and intuition were carefully balanced. The design leveraged the unique characteristics of the device and operating system. Subtle animations were used to create a more cinematic experience in a way which can only be achieved in a native application. The user's location is applied to put social, demographic and economic differences in powerful visual perspective. Design solutions were used to hint at behaviours and to shape user perceptions of responsiveness.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The Wider Image reimagines editorial photography for a touch-based portable interface. Centered around innovative forms of photojournalism consumption, the app enables a global community of news enthusiasts to explore thought-provoking, high-end journalism content in an entirely new way – giving them the wider perspective and bringing them closer to stories the matter. By leveraging the universal appeal of photography, user feedback indicates The Wider Image also appeals to readers who do not frequently consume news – bringing these important subjects to the attention of new audiences. Further, the app is used by educators in classrooms, and is the subject of much interest by journalism professionals for its unique approach to visual storytelling. The Wider Image establishes new multimedia skills and standards for Reuters photographers, helping them address rapidly-changing forms of digital news consumption. The app has undoubtedly acted as a catalyst to inspire the next generation of visual storytellers.