Periodical

Periodical.

A news application that empowers readers to take their activism beyond social media and affect change within their communities and the world.

With Interactive storytelling, a robust community action page, and an Action Kit to take home, Periodical is the experience ecosystem built to help you stay informed, stay active, and stay accountable.
Team: Stephanie Waldrop-Tang, Shelly Tsui, Melissa Takai, Evita Wijaya
Advisor: Thomas Ham
Role: Ideation, Illustration, Research, Prototyping, "Take Action" + "Profile" Pages
Duration: 10 weeks + Some

Context

Create an experience ecosystem consisting of a minimum of three different devices with the topic of your choosing

Overview

Problem Space —
Staying informed and keeping up on the news can often have a negative side effect of feeling powerless. Our team wanted to explore potential opportunities for users to stay engaged and informed while maintaining a sense of agency in their lives.
Solution —
Doing more than just reading the news, Periodical —a fictitious platform—provides digestible news in addition to connecting users with actionable causes to engage and empower them to be active within their local communities.

Exploration

We explored competitors ranging from the NYT, to more exploratory, "soft" news platforms like Great Big Story and Humans of New York.

Due to our desire to look at the intersection of news and community we were hoping that feel good stories would help create a better sense of positivity towards others.

Workshops

After presenting our competitors to our participants we were able to identify what aspects made some of these platforms successful and what areas there were for us to improve on.

One insight that inspired us was the lack of call to action there were in many of these articles and platforms. After being informed, users weren't sure how to act or if there was any way for them to act on that new information they had read.
“News in a place of community building is
important; we are not just individuals but
communities and can form solidarity.”
— Participant
“Give readers something they can do… What’s nice about social media is it gives people a number they can write to representatives. Give them hope.”
—Participant

Hypothesis

How might we revitalize traditional news to empower people to feel active within their communities?

Based off of our findings from the workshops we learned how important news and information is and that it was imperative we don't sugar coat the news but rather spin it in a way that allows people to feel like they can be part of a solution and take control!

Final

Interactive Storytelling—
Periodical offers featured interactive stories through the home page to maintain reader engagement and encourage them to learn more.

Connecting with Communities—
Doing our best to maintain the sense of community through, various sections of the layout are dedicated to user-created opportunities to help nearby.

Action Kits—
In addition to helping people stay informed, we came up with the concept of "action kits" — kits that provide items to help people be the best activists they can be while donating proceeds to the organizations they care about.

Take Aways

The pandemic, the people, and the new experiences —
Overall, my team and I faced challenges not solely through the pandemic and working remotely but through the many difficulties highlighted throughout the Spring of 2020. While this school project may have officially ended during the late Spring, we continued on this project and made it what it is today. I learned so much about the passion and impact that our work could possibly do for others and what that means to me, personally.

Want to hear the whole story? Contact me to learn more!
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