A Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science. Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill & McCormick School of Engineering.

SNDMakes: Nine good reasons to attend SNDMakes

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to rep Knight Lab and Medill at SNDMakes-SF, a rapid prototyping event that preceded the Society for News Design’s annual workshop. Over the course of two and a half days, 28 media and tech professionals formed seven teams — appropriately named after San Francisco neighborhoods or landmarks — and swiftly conceptualized, designed and developed prototypes aimed at answering the central question: “How might we grow the

SND panel: How designers can try to correct for the unconscious bias in design

Asking a user to choose an icon can help combat stereotypes.

At last week’s Society of News Design’s San Francisco Conference, three speakers hosted a panel on the application of unconscious bias in design: Sanny Lin, a product designer at Bloc; Martin Gee, senior art director at Time; and Tory Hargro, a product design manager at Facebook. Unconscious biases are the unconscious clichéd beliefs we hold about certain social groups. While we may consciously loathe the biases, numerous studies and research show that we

Steve Tarzia joins Knight Lab as a professional fellow

Steve Tarzia headshot

Last week Knight Lab welcomed Steve Tarzia as a new professional fellow. During his fellowship, under a program supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Tarzia will work to make a gun violence site he founded more sustainable. Tarzia, who has a Ph.D. in computer science and has worked on development teams at several Chicago companies, launched GunMemorial.org in December and will work at Knight Lab for the next three

A quick look at recommendation engines and how the New York Times makes recommendations

A recent prediction that algorithmic curation would be one of the major trends of 2016 got me thinking about news recommendation engines. I’ve always been curious about the technology so I recently started digging into what makes them work and realized there is a whole lot to learn. But a little research and conversation with a newsroom technologist at New York Times helped me to understand how they work. First you should know

Transforming type: The changing landscape of digital type design and typography

I’ve been involved in print design since my high school days of working on the school newsmagazine. It’s where I got my start learning the basics of design, layout, typography, and it’s what became the foundation for all my other design-related ventures. Only within the past school year, however, have I started getting into type design and studying typefaces. Type is a very nuanced field to get into—there’s a lot of history to

Paying dinosaurs: Lessons learned from many hacky deployments with Heroku

As a hobby developer and computer science student, I find myself using Heroku to release many of my projects. Heroku is a cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) business that provides server power for developers, and I have taken recently been taking advantage of their Free and Hobby plans. While Heroku offers a simple, cheap solution to developers, it’s not perfect. The documentation isn’t always clear and there are many small hurdles that