Awards winners

Msnbc.com new mobile site: design for modularity

msnbc new mobile front
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Last year I went offline for a few months to work on a couple of personal projects and an iPhone app for msnbc.com. About a year later and after the iPhone project fell through, I was asked to design a new msnbc.com mobile version. The target audience is people who own devices that have Webkit-based browsers such as iPhone and Google Android phones. The project was a huge undertaking especially for an inexperienced web designer like myself. For people who don’t know me, I am more of a data visualization person than a web design person. I have designed and launched a few successful brochure websites, but have never worked on a large scale one like msnbc.com. Given that most other large news organizations have released their websites for these devices, we wanted to challenge ourselves to do something better.

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Adversity Index Map

Adversity index map
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Update Feb 24, 2010: I just learned that this piece won a Best in Business award for creative use of online media from Society of American Business Editors and Writers. I want to thank all the participants who made this project possible. Cheers!

The Adversity Index, from msnbc.com and Moody’s Economy.com, measures the economic health of 381 metro areas and all 50 states. Each area is in recession, at risk, recovering or expanding. On this map you can explore changes in the four components of the index: employment, housing starts, housing prices and industrial production, each shown as a percentage change from a year earlier.

This map contains more than 350,000 data points. It was a challenge because we didn’t have appropriate database tools to support the map. We had to split the data set into five big chunks and merged them in Flash. I wrote a tool that allow loading data from different subsets and merged them into one data structure that was plotted on the map.

Click here to view the map

Awards and honors
2010 – Best in business from Society of American Business Editors and Writers

Endorsements of All Shapes and Sizes

The interactive feature is a collage of politicians, ex-politicians, celebrities and newspaper opinion pages. Mouse over to view which presidential candidate they endorse.

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Awards and honors
2007 – Awards of Excellence from Society of News Design

Interactive Tour of Mount Kilimanjaro

Every year, thousands of people set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but about a quarter of them fail before reaching the summit. The rest, who succeed, become very ill from latitude sickness.

Is it worth the efforts? Check out Tom Bissell’s account of his painful and exhausting climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Awards and honors
2009 – Part of the Design USA exhibition at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
2007 – Gold from malofiej 16
2007 – Gold from Society of News Design
2007 – Best of Category: Interactive/Digital award in the 2007 CaGIS/ACSM Map Design Competition

Election '08 Campaign Finance

Election '08 Campaign Finance

The interactive map shows campaign finance data for each presidential candidate in the 2008 election. The version I worked on that won an award was published in 2007. It has been subsequently replaced by the current version on the site.

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Awards
2007 – Awards of Excellence from Society of News Design

Baroque architecture of Arequipa, Peru

This is my last project from school. In fall 2006, I spent 10 days with a group of fellow journalism students in Arequipa, Peru producing multimedia stories. Each of us covered an aspect of the city. I chose to cover the city’s architecture. We used all kinds of media such as photo, video, audio and graphics in this project. The project was sponsored by Sister Cities International.

I spent a lot of time on this project. It still is the most ambitious 3D project that I have ever worked on. I started with an idea of creating a 3D virtual tour of the famous Santa Catalina Monastery. Later on, I decided to do the main plaza (Plaza de armas) as well as a bird view map of the whole downtown area.

Since I didn’t have enough references to create a realistic model, I ended up spending a lot of time taking pictures and drawing hand maps of the monastery. In the end, I managed to put all the hundreds of doors and windows in the correct place (or in my dream I did :) ).

On the down side, there is a couple of annoying bugs we never fixed.

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Awards and honors
2007 – One of Times magazine’s 50 best Web sites of 2007

The mystery behind the giant squid

The mystery behind the giant squid

My first infographics project ever. It was also my first project in Alberto Cairo’s 3D class at UNC-Chapel Hill. The notable thing about this project is that it landed me a summer internship at The New York Times in 2006.

I can safely say that it started my career. Today I have a chance to do what I absolutely love and make a living out of it thanks to this project.

Awards and honors
2006 – Summer internship at The New York Times

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