2014 | TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile)

Peninsula Talks

Interactive, Dataviz, Storytelling, and Experience

A data-visualization-driven interactive magazine to tell the stories of the young Italians who are redefining what “Made in Italy” means.

Brief

In 2014, the independent publisher Humboldt Books and TIM engaged with Accurat to imagine, design, and develop an interactive magazine that combined video interviews with interactive data visualization, to be presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The goal was to explore how data and its visualization could be used in video journalism both to provide an additional layer of information to video contents, and to customize the viewing and reading experience. The project was commissioned within the larger goal of promoting a redefinition of what is globally considered a gold standard: “Made in Italy,” through the voices of the young Italians who are actually “making in Italy.”

Accurat developed the concept for the magazine and then built it from scratch, researching and innovating on visual design languages and web technologies to make this layering of video feeds and interactive data visualizations possible on devices of all sizes, mobile in particular.

Solution

In the concept phase, Accurat worked with a team of journalists and content curators to define a new format for video interviews that could leverage personal data provided by the interview subjects to provide context and a deeper exploration of the topic, along with metadata on the interview process itself, by breaking down its script into micro narrative units that could then be re-arranged thematically in endless combinations. The UX of the digital experience was designed to allow for the simultaneous use of video content and interactive data visualization, working with layers of information and a minimal depiction of data. This became a UI that focuses on brightly colored visuals – each subject is associated with a tint – that are overlaid on a video feed, creating a multilayered experience.

Building Peninsula Talks required a complex combination of technical optimization and creative innovation to make the interactive experience possible on all devices, even on smartphones that usually rely on native players to stream web video content. By nesting elements in the HTML canvas and writing custom code that helped synchronize audio, video, and interactive events, Accurat was able to recreate a fully enjoyable in-browser experience on all types of device and screen sizes.

A tagging system dynamically loads separate clips – each composed of an audio, a video, and an interactive track – from the database assembles a live playlist based on the user’s interests. This allows for a non-linear combination of the contents, expanding the range of possibilities for data-driven video journalism.

Process

During the concept creation and design process, we worked collaboratively with the art publisher Humboldt Books and with journalists Serena Danna and Andrea Marinelli to write the structure of the interviews and to shoot them across Italy. The resulting video interviews were then analyzed, tagged, and organized in a cloud database to create the informational infrastructure that powers the experience. Data gathered from the videos and from a custom questionnaire that was distributed to the interviewees were used to generate the interactive visuals, which focus on the person’s timeline, travels, work, and interests, providing an always-accessible underlying narrative context during the experience. The product was built using open web technologies and was presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014.

Results

While researching how to move beyond storytelling canons and how the concept of “Made in Italy” is narrated, TIM wanted to address how the consumption of digital media might change over the next several years, especially on mobile devices, most of which are still based on an outdated paradigm. The Peninsula Talks magazine was used by the client to promote the expansion of broadband services in Italy and new generation smartphones that enable richer digital experiences on mobile devices.
Team
Giorgia Lupi
Gabriele Rossi
Simone Quadri
Giovanni Marchi
Marco Bernardi
Marco Vettorello
Paolo Corti
Luca Falasco
Stefania Guerra
Francesco Merlo
Serena Danna
Andrea Marinelli
Humboldt Books
Press
Il Post (ITA)
Peninsula Hotel, una nuova rivista online.
Corriere della Sera (ITA)
Peninsula, l’Hotel del talento italiano.
Services
Interactive
Dataviz
Storytelling
Experience

Interactive, Dataviz, Storytelling, and Experience

Interactive, Dataviz, Experience, and Big Data