The Washington Post
Designing for Snapchat
Since August 2017, I have been working as a designer at The Washington Post as part of the emerging news products team. I am one of three people who designs and animates stories for The Post's Snapchat Discover channel. Snapchat Discover is a relatively new platform that tells stories in a highly visual way and engages a very young audience.
The Post publishes a Discover story five days a week, and each story contains a combination of "top snaps" (self-contained story summaries) and "longforms" (snaps with a swipe-up function that contains a full story or video). Throughout the day, we update our live story with breaking news as necessary.
Below, you can find a collection of my favorite snaps I've created so far.
Each of these top snaps has a concept that I created and produced on deadline for the next day's edition. After reading the story, I make a decision to create a photo illustration, use iStock imagery, or in some cases, illustrate the story myself.
For longform snaps, users are able to swipe up to read a full story.
Most days, we start the edition out with a stringer, or a group of connected top snaps that either contain the full story or tease to a longform.
Date: May 3, 2018
Role: Design, animation, video editing, photo illustration, music editing
Date: Nov. 9, 2017
Role: Design, animation, photo editing, infographic design, photo illustration, music editing
Special Edition: Black Friday
One of my favorite projects to work on was Snapchat's adaptation of The Washington Post gift guides. We combined several different gift guides that had been published by The Post and by The Lily and adapted them for this mobile-only platform.
My role in this project was coming up with a unique styling for this special edition and then designing and animating all 10 snaps for the edition. I also did all of the illustrations and photo editing.
Special Edition: North Korea
This special edition was a collaboration between Snapchat and the Post's graphics department. We adapted this online graphics piece about how the U.S. would try to stop a nuclear missile from North Korea. The story had already been published online, so we used the already created assets to create a new presentation.
The first top snap of special edition was designed by the Snapchat design editor, Chris Barber, and the rest of the stringer, which details the 7 step process, was designed by me.
This package received an award of excellence in social media design in the 2017 SND Best of Digital Design Competition.
Special Project: Too Many Men
This story was a deep-dive into the gender imbalance in two of the world's largest populations. This was a huge project for the print and digital versions of The Post, and I worked to translate the project into a condensed version for Snapchat.
I took apart the illustrations to design and animate them for mobile. The illustrations were done by Jasu Hu and were art directed by members of the news design team. You can view the original digital presentation here.
Special Project: Sexting Nightmare
I really loved working on this story. It had a lot of cool elements to work with, like text messages and a beautiful illustration that had been commissioned when the story run earlier this year.
For this story, I cut up parts of the illustration and redesigned it to fit with each part of the story being told in the top snaps. I also played with some transitional animations to create a slightly different experience than people are used to seeing. Snaps are sent to loop after 10 seconds and users are used to tapping to get to the next slide. These customized transitions made the experience flow more continuously from one snap to the next.
These five snaps received an award of excellence in social media design in the 2017 SND Best of Digital Design Competition.
Breaking News: Las Vegas
When the news of the Las Vegas shooting broke, we kept our readers updated with the latest news on Snapchat. In the week to come, we created several special editions full of news, features and graphics.
Since there was a lot to be done in a short amount of time, we split the work amongst two designers and created guidelines for animation and typography styles so the snaps looked consistent throughout the edition.
A sampling of our Las Vegas coverage was submitted and received an award of excellence in social media design in the 2017 SND Best of Digital Design Competition.
Below, you can find some of the designs I created in the first three days following the shooting.