Featured Interactive Storytelling

Blogs, interactivity and information design. And how to mix it.

For a few years I’m wondering how to mix all the functions I love about a blog with the great looks and impressions of information design. Somehow I can’t seem to find the perfect balance, not by myself, not on the web.

I have tried to build an interface with features like this in my graduation project. I tried it with a videoblog, a photoblog and I’m also experimenting with a portfolio. Somehow I can’t find the perfect combination. A blog is open to every format and hack. You can embed video, audio, images, interactivity or just use text. A blog can be updated instantly from anywhere.

With information design you immediately see what is in there, and you can sort the information visually. It is much more interactive.

The functions of a blog are

  • easy to read
  • user friendly
  • scrolling (relative long compared to width)
  • html
  • comments
  • permanent links
  • great search engine optimization
  • time based
  • text based (blog software is text based, even when using WordPress or Blogger for a videoblog the video is just an embedded item in the text-based structure
  • tags / categories
  • rss
  • free format

The functions of an infographic are

  • all information easily accessible and visible
  • highly interactive (using flash or javascript)
  • visual
  • sortable by different information axis
  • maps
  • fast (no reloads)
  • connected to realtime data (XML)
  • forced format

What is great about a blog is that it uses free format. An infographic uses a forced format, because it is always data driven. I liked the experiments above. Although I think the context created around the content is far better when using an infographic styled page.

iTunes did pretty well converting the iTunes interface into an audio blogging (podcasting) interface that is something different than blog.

The iTunes interface is designed for audio and it doesn’t seem to be converting its success to video. YouTube is ‘the’ videoblog. They have the content. I’m sure that if they open the archives in different formats (instead of embedded flash) a videoblogging program or website will arise.

If you know a great website that mixes live and original data with great interaction design, please leave the url in the comments.