PROJECT O | Google News Lab Fellowship
"The Google News Lab Fellowship offers students interested in journalism and technology the opportunity to spend the summer working at relevant organizations across the world to gain valuable experience and make lifelong contacts and friends."
I worked as a fellow for Google News Lab Fellowship in winter from 2016 to 2017. The whole program was composed of five different teams, each working with specific department from diverse media companies in South Korea. I participated as a designer responsible for Brand Identity, Service/UX/UI design, and worked with four other members, journalist, two developers, and a visual director. Our team (O'right) collaborated with dept. of Data Journalism from Joongang Daily, and produced four different media contents about filter bubble.
Team project in support of Google News Lab Fellowship.
5 team members for 2 months in support of Google Korea
B.I Design, Service Design, UXUI Design
Sketch/Zeplin, Photoshop, Illustrator, Invision
UX/UI Design, New Media, B.I, Social Marketing
Project O is composed of four different media contents all dealing with the idea of filter bubble, "a state of intellectual isolation that can result from personalized searches when a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user, such as location, past click-behavior and search history" (Wikipedia)".
All team members participated in the ideation process. As UIUX designer, I was especially responsible for B.I design as well as constructing the web-platform that puts all the contents with logical information architecture and navigation system. The following is the list of the products our team published. All of them are collected as a group on a website and individually distributed in diverse ways through multiple channels using inbound marketing strategy. Details about each product are introduced below.
How is Your Newsfeed?
a Chrome extension which analyses user's recent 200 posts on his/her Facebook Newsfeed and tells the top3 media of which post is most frequently appeared with along with the list of friends who share similar Newsfeed with the user. See More
This is Your Life, Living in a Bubble
an interactive storytelling animation using parallax scrolling. The story is about Michael (democratic advocate) and John(republican advocate) during 2016 Presidential Election in the US whose Newsfeeds are completely different from each other.See More.
Filter Bubble, The Invisible Trap
An article and a short documentary film. The article is a data analysis report based on the data collected for a month from the first content. The video is about an interview and extreme political bipolarity conflict during the Korean president's scandal last year. See More.
As Facebook has become a critical platform of news consumption in South Korea, many audiences are exposed to the danger of filter bubble - consuming the news from certain media with specific political biases. Therefore, our team decided to make a series of contents that can raise awareness about this phenomenon
IDEATION PROCESS & PUBLICATION STRATEGY
IDEATION METHOD: GOOGLE SPRINT
Before deciding topic and planning all the products, we adopted Google Sprint design method. This methodology is composed of five big steps which include defining (1)Target Audience, (2) Target Audience Problems, (3)Goal/Agenda, (4) Reference Research, and (5)Idea Sketch (Storytelling).
PART1. HOW IS YOUR NEWSFEED?
How Is Your Newsfeed? is a Chrome extension which analyses user's recent 200 posts on his/her Facebook Newsfeed and tells the top 3 media companies of which post is most frequently appeared along with the list of friends who share similar Newsfeed with the user.
This content was published first mainly via Facebook, and the core purpose of this product is to catch the attention of potential audiences with its entertaining interactive elements so that they are can be more motivated to consume the rest of our projects later on.
However, the problem was that the Chrome extension does not work on mobile gear. Therefore, we devised another similar interactive content that tells how much politically biased one's Like List is. To lead them to download the chrome extension, The result is displayed with a notice to the users that they can enjoy more precise and fun interactive contents if accessed via PC.
DESIGN LAYOUT (WEB-BASED)
Once users access our website through the link distributed on SNS, they can install the chrome extension right away with analysis results provided promptly. The details about each UI is elaborated below.
(1) PROJECT O Web Home
This is a home page for Project O. The squares are links to the each product we published - "How is Your Newsfeed?", "This Is Your Life, Living In a Bubble", and "Filter Bubble, the Invisible Trap"
(2) How Is Your Newsfeed?
This is a home screen before launching or installing the chrome extension program. Data crawling starts when user clicks the yellow square button.
(3) Result page v1
This is a result page after the analyzing process is done. The extension collects recent 200 posts from the user's Facebook Newsfeed, and gives the percentage of the media contents that compose user's Newsfeed along with the top 3 media companies which the contents are from. Also, it gives the list of the top 3 friends who share similar Newsfeed.
(4) Details about the result page
 is the percentage of the contents published from media company among the 200 posts that the extension program has crawled. is the top 3 media company that appears most frequently, and  is the top 3 friends who share similar Newsfeed with the user.  is a share icon by which a user can share the result on his/her SNS. Finally,  and  are the navigation buttons that allow user easily access other contents from this project.
(5) Result page v2
This is a result page when user's Newsfeed has fewer than 20 posts (about 10%) from a media.
DESIGN LAYOUT (MOBILE-BASED)
Based on users' Like List of their Facebook account, the mobile version of interactive analysis content provides the results that tell the degree of political bias.
(1) PROJECT O Mobile Home and How Is Your Newsfeed? page
This is a mobile version of PROJECT O. The left is the home page with all the products we published. Once users click the yellow square on the right image, they can get the analysis results of how much politically biased their Liked list is on Facebook.
The results tell whether users' like list is conservative(blue) or democratic(yellow). The degree of bias is elaborated with the character image with the percentage; for example, if user's like list is more of democratic, yellow screen is displayed. The darker the character color is, the more that a user's like list is democratic or conservative.
PART2. THIS IS YOUR LIFE, LIVING IN A BUBBLE
This Is Your Life, Living in a Bubble is an interactive storytelling animation using parallax scrolling method. The story is about Michael (Democratic advocate) and John(Republican advocate) during 2016 Presidential Election in the US whose Newsfeeds are completely different from each other.
The overall storytelling is told by comparing daily lives of two characters, Michael (Democratic advocate) and John (Republican advocate) during and after the US Presidential Election in 2016. The story starts with the two images of the characters' Newsfeeds which show completely different articles about the prospects of the expected winner of the election; while Michaels' are full of the media contents that strongly believe that Clinton is going to be the one, John's show many contents that Trump is going to be the winner. The purpose of this animation is to show how Facebook algorithms affect what people see on their feeds - explaining the basic concept of filter bubble phenomenon. The story ends with the scene in which Michael and John pass by each other.
After the concept design, the first process was to build a storyboard which sets details about each scene. There are total 21 scenes.
You can check the interactive animation here.
The interactive animation was made by using parallax scrolling. However, it was also made as a video clip to distribute via diverse platforms as well.
PART3. FILTER BUBBLE, THE INVISIBLE TRAP
Last part of our project is a combination of data analysis article and a short documentary film with interviews by people with contradictory political perspectives and media experts in South Korea.
During this project, the scandal of the former president Park Geun-hye was the hot potato. Before the impeachment, there were two major demonstration groups, one requiring Park's impeachment and the others still supporting her. The interviews were held by comparing the people's Newsfeed from two conflicting groups with the advices from the experts about the filter bubble phenomenon.
You can check the article page here.
"Interview: Google News Lab Fellowship"
"The Two Bubbles in South Korea"