The methods and forms in which information can be shared have vastly changed and grown since the creation of the World Wide Web. However, digital news and magazine sites remain largely similar to their printed predecessors’ formatting despite the freedoms offered by digital media.
This is why a team of passionate designers, programmers, and researchers are teaming up to create a new kind of project called the Parametric Press.
According to its mission statement, the Parametric Press is an experimental digital magazine dedicated to showcasing the expository power that is possible when the audio, visual, and interactive capabilities of dynamic media are effectively combined.
Hohman, whose research applies a human-centered approach to designing and developing interactive interfaces and data visualizations, joins the lead for this project, Matthew Conlen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington whose research on dynamic publishing tools power the magazine. Other pioneering collaborators include Andrew Sass and Sara Stalla, and they are joined by expert editors across disciplines such as data visualization, technical publishing, and computational biology.
“These articles are often data-driven, interactive stories. So there is a notion of play that let’s you interact with the content, allowing you to learn and retain difficult-to-understand concepts,” said Hohman.
Currently, there are three other media companies creating similar content that involves audio, visual, and interactive abilities: Explorable Explanations, FiveThirtyEight, and New York Times.
The difference between these larger outlets and Parametric Press is the structure and formatting of how content is submitted. Parametric Press offers qualified people of all backgrounds to submit content or story ideas, whether they have a technical background or not, and get compensated up to $1,000 for their submissions. The diverse and skilled team of Parametric Press then reviews each submission for quality content and helps deliver the final result by providing designing, coding, or writing expertise and time as necessary.
“We are looking for people to submit their great ideas, but we are here to help make these articles come to life. If you don’t know how to create a visual, auditory, or linguistic component to enhance the story, we have a full team to assist. We don’t want programming to be a barrier to create these one-of-a-kind stories,” said Hohman.
Parametric Press officially launched Dec. 3, 2018, with a call for submissions for its first issue, Science + Society. Submissions for Issue 1 will be accepted through January 15, 2018.
Follow along with Parametric Press and stay tuned for future announcements through the Twitter handle @ParametricPress.