By Emma Dina Eik Risan, Hanna Haug Flatebø, Victoria Westin and Willem Percyval Westli
Spor is a plug-in designed for Amedia journalists, in collaboration with QUEST. Spor was developed as part of the course «Bachelor's Thesis in Media and Interaction Design» in the spring of 2021, by Emma Dina Eik Risan, Hanna Haug Flatebø, Victoria Westin and Willem Percyval Westli.
Working as a journalist requires writing about various subjects including science information where you have no prior knowledge. The importance of good tools is therefore critical. The Spor-prototype is a Norwegian development of the already existing tool; QUEST. The goal is to make the process of writing a science-based article easier and quicker, as well as easy access to reliable sources and content. It is developed to fit the Norwegian journalists' needs.
Spor - the solution
Let's present Spor - the journalistic helper. We have made a plug-in that will help with everything from finding different science-based content, reaching target groups, language and possible sources.
We changed the name to "Spor", since it is adapted to the Norwegian market. This means trail or footprint, and the meaning behind it's that the plug-in should work as a trail to writing good science articles. It guides them to reliable sources of information and gives them the opportunity to pin elements to easily find the trail back to relevant information.
Spor makes you able to search for a topic within science information. The different categories should provide specific information regarding the chosen topic. Several of the features have filtering options to make the search even more specific. In this way, you get help on how to both write your article, direct it to different target groups and who you can contact for information. In order to retrieve the most important information at a later point, all the elements can be pinned.
An important part of the design of the plug-in is the color-coding. We decided to color-code the different functions so it would be easier for journalists to know what kind of information they have pinned.
In our design we have followed the principle of consistency by making sure the same action causes the same reaction (Norman, 2013), therefore all the buttons look the same.
Since our plug-in consists of a lot of information it was important to think about good affordance in the design, which is the relationship between how something looks and how it's used (Interaction design foundation, n.d.). We have used both text and icons on the different buttons to make it easier to understand what will happen when you click it. Hover-states clarifies that an element is a button.
We decided to have information boxes in the start of the program, and in every category. This helped the user understand what the plug-in could do and why it would be beneficial to use when writing a science article.
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