Final project (a work in progress)

My project is located here:

Just in case this is still due at 9, here is my work in progress. I am missing 1 audience member for the Columbia Chronicle, 1 line-level worker for IndyStar, and the 2 audience members for IndyStar. I am still in the process of compiling all my info.

DI Improvement Ideas

  • Create an(other) app
    • Allows people to submit events they’d like us to cover, businesses they’d like us to feature.
  • Find ways to include quizzes on the website
    • What UIUC location are you?
    • Answer these questions and we’ll predict your major
  • Create some sort of website where people can leave anonymous reviews on housing?
    • Could be an interesting way to get the tea on what places are bad to live, what places have bugs, what places have poor management, etc. This could allow us to get more information about the places in town and perhaps get in touch with people who live in these places (I know this is a bit of a stretch).
  • Could perhaps put on some sort of show (post-COVID, for sure)
    • This could be something for buzz. Like a talent show/house show of sorts. Could give out a cash reward but maybe charge for entry and have our photographers/writers cover it.
  • It could be cool to have our own photographers/writers travel to cover big events so we’re not just taking submitted photos all the time
  • There’s a school paper that does a joke paper once a year. I feel like it could really up engagement to do something like that maybe once a semester. Something where there’s joke articles, or photos. It could be a meme edition, if you will.

Training new staff

  • I like the idea of showing trainees what to do, deleting the progress, then having them give it a go
    • I feel like I know my way around Indesign/Illustrator pretty well, so I honestly love answering questions whenever people have them, so while people are trying their hand at these things, they can ask me questions along the way.
  • Files of instructions about what to do in certain circumstances like for example:
    • Sometimes text wrapping is weird on the computers in the office, they’re always marked to be ignored in text options. This could be a tip that’s included in said file.
  • I feel like we haven’t had a true style guide for the layout in a while, it’s all sort of been passed down from design editor to design editor. I think something like this could be really helpful for new hires, especially for when me or my design editor aren’t in the office to help with something. It would be nice for them to have something to consult.
  • I start the new hires out with simpler pages like A2 or A4/A5, as they usually don’t have too many stories. Then I have them work their way up to pages like B1/B2 or even A1/A3. It takes time for them to feel confident putting together those puzzles, but it’s so rewarding once they do.
  • Keep in contact with new hires and keep the momentum up. I have quite a few new designers (many of whom are off campus and are just doing graphics for the time being) who are eager to help, which is really nice. I have 2 new ones coming into the office to train this upcoming Sunday (wooo!!!), so I think we can really foster a good learning environment for them.
  • I could create little cheat sheets to hang up around the office with tips for the layout.
  • Figure out some fun ways to become a team, especially when things are pretty hectic
    • Zoom hangouts
    • Design challenges with small prizes

Print vs. Online vs. Social Media

  • Print
    • Enticing layouts, especially for pages like Features. This could also potentially expand to other sections. A1/A3 can probably use a bit of re-vamp as well, considering the repetitive content
    • Better art overall.
      • More of our own photos, I realize the paper can become quite boring when it’s just a bunch of submitted photos. It’s so exciting to get great photos of our own (which I know should be the norm)
    • Simpler, easier to understand, more useful infographics/breakout boxes
    • Don’t fear white space, utilize it!
      • I’d like to explore different ways of going about this
    • Don’t be afraid to not use art, or not have a story attached to art. Let art stand alone, let the story stand alone. Break away from what we know.
  • Online
    • This could also be a good spot for memes, especially when the online articles are shared on socials
    • Good variety of text, photos, and combinations of the two
    • Constantly update these rather than just specific times of the week\
    • Interactive photos/articles
      • The early voting map could have been interactive, but I’m honestly unsure of how to approach this
  • Social Media
    • More interactive content
    • Polls that allow people to give their input
      • People mostly feel like their opinions are important and might want to vote on polls or give feedback when asked
    • Like we discussed in class, memes can be used for social
      • Considering the demographic of Gen Z, this could up our engagement a lot.
    • Photos or graphics specifically formatted for social
      • Get a person who is aware of how this works and who could export or reformat things to fit the square format of Instagram or the rectangular formats of Twitter or Facebook