Working in the news cycle often leaves little time to design different iterations of story ideas, and even less time to test them with a readership audience. But as the author or designer, and as a media outlet which provides a public service like WNYC at New York Public Radio, there is a responsibility to know how a public audience might understand and engage with our stories. This is a presentation on the design methods used for testing comprehension and clarity of story visuals and interactive projects in the WNYC newsroom. Whether visualizing data that supports a story or building a new tool that will help people be more informed, getting feedback from those not familiar with the content displayed is crucial in understanding how to better our work. The presentation will walk through two scales of testing, the first being a rapid scale of daily news and the second as a larger scale news project. The two scales of projects will show how design research methods in observation, listening, and questioning may be utilized to conduct a usability test, as well as how to see patterns and summarize findings to iterate on visuals produced.
Clarisa Diaz is the interaction and graphic designer for the WNYC Data News and Journalism team. She is a former Fulbright Scholar in Architecture and practices interdisciplinary ways of designing tools for services, including work with the Queens Museum, NYPL Labs, and various nonprofit organizations.