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.
Blog:TribApps

New Team Member: Heather Billings, Designer/Developer

We are pleased to announce that Heather Billings will be joining the Lab as a designer and developer. Heather comes to us from the Chicago Tribune, where she has been a member of the News Apps team for the past three years. I’m very excited to have the chance to work with Heather again. When we brought her onto the team at the Chicago Tribune, I was already impressed by her smart, humane, and generous presence on social media. The

On scaling and efficiency of long-form news story design, at #SRCCON 2014

There seems to be an uptick of production in digital storytelling: More and more newsrooms are beginning to build longform editorial pieces on the web, with designs that break out of their day-to-day article templates. Web developers in newsroom sometimes find themselves struggling to meet growing editorial demand for special treatment on story projects, sometimes by copy-and-pasting previous code in order to meet a deadline. These efforts to “make it work with longform” have

Tyler Fisher on being a Knight Lab student fellow

Tyler Fisher headshot

In my sophomore year of college, I prototyped a product for a class final project. Thanks to the help and support of the Knight Lab, that modest prototype became a fully realized product in my junior year, and now, it has been used by The Washington Post and WBEZ. The full weight of that still hasn’t hit me, really. I still find it hard to believe that I have made something of value

What we learned hosting three Chicago Crime Hacks

group at the Chicago Crime Hack in Pilsen

On Saturday the Knight Lab hosted its third and final Chicago Crime Hack with an event at the Cibola co-working space in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. We drew our largest crowd yet, got to meet a ton of new folks, came up with some new ideas, and ate some delicious tamales in the process. It felt to us like a success, but it’s fair to say we got better at hosting hacks with a

Design thinking on Chicago’s crime data — Chicago Crime Hack

paper prototype from chicago crime hack

On Saturday the Knight Lab hosted its second in a series of three Chicago Crime Hacks, which help hackers explore Chicago’s crime data via the Chicago Tribune’s Crime API. This weekend, in addition to all the usual hack day activities, attendees participated in a unique design thinking exercise. After a brief bit of instruction from Joe Germuska, Heather Billings and David Eads about how to navigate the API, curious hackers, students, Knight Lab fellows and members from the

Chicago Crime Hack, day one

The Knight Lab hosted its first ever hack day on Saturday and about 15 civic-minded hackers showed up to tinker with the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Crime API. The day started with a quick round of introductions from a diverse group. Some were professional developers with day jobs building software for trading firms or IBM, while others were self-described apprentices and hobbyists. No matter, everyone seemed excited about getting to hack on Chicago’s crime