The guardian 2012 year in review

This was 2012 final project, by far the most exhausting, exciting, challenging, team based project I've been part this year.
Starting with the premiss "Let's do something great to close 2012, challenging in technology terms, engaging in content and beautiful in design".
Taking in consideration the main stories of 2012, raising from News, Technology, Culture, Ecology, Travel, Britain, War, Politics, trying to cross all desks to be summarized into an interactive representing the year.
Me and the interactive team players Jonathan Richards and Robin Beitra, came up with the vertical storytelling, where we used parallax (such a popular technique used as well during 2012). We would like to see stories come together by scrolling from the user. We wanted to use all kind of medias that the guardian can and have been producing during the year, not only to show the diversity but as well to give users optional ways to unfold the stories. USers could open or not a video for instance, could scroll faster or slower according to the consumption desire for each given story.
Taking in consideration that we had around 3 weeks to put this project together, I am very happy with the result. Having reflected a bit on what could have been done better, we had a lot of nice-to-haves that we hadn't time to achieve, such as a hand drawn line that would guide the user into the stories with another touch of arts & crafts feeling to it, making it a bit more human.
For the first time we had the freedom to make full use of the guardian font.
We worked closely with Picture Desk being represented by Ranjit Dhaliwal that although had a thousand projects running in parallel, he never let us down, delivering and showing his editor skills when they were more needed.
On the Multi Media desk we worked closely with Ken Mcfarlane that was serving us video edits specially for this piece, that would fit the requirements such as lengths, and different formats to attend to all different browsers and devices compatibilities as much as possible. He was unstoppable as well, and a living proof that collaborative work is really possible and a great fun as we all learn with each other, share skills and be there back each other up all the time!
PaulTorpey was our executive producer in this project, liaising with editorial folks, selecting all the major content in terms of articles and data points to be used in each story.
Robin Beitra the super rock star of interactive development solve the major problems of interaction, compatibility, video playing in different browsers/devices etc... He spend full on coding for this almost 3 weeks, and he supplied the team with a data base using google doc where other team players could set up the code for when content would come in/out of the screen upon scrolling. It was super exciting to be tweaking each individual story in parallel with Jonathan and Ken. Ken gave his touch of video vision, as this story gets pretty close to a film experience kind of interactive.
Jonathan showed how his editorial and developing skills come in hand all in the same person, being unstoppable and trying to nail the main key features.
My role in this project was interaction designer and Project manager. Something I really think comes useful to be centralized as a designer I know what assets will be needed and what's the priorities. Then seating next to Robin and learning his needs as the developer I could search for the assets going to the specific persons and solving task after task, letting Robin focus and not worry with anything else then the code!
What I loved the most about this projects was to bring the different teams together, making, or trying to make them all feel part of the process, as if we would take one single person this projects wouldn't have been possible.
The time frame was absolutely compressed, the ambition was very hight, and although I feel it would have been beneficial if we would have had a couple of more days, I think we reached a pretty impressive result being this one of my favorite projects, not only for the end result, but specially for the process and team spirit.

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