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Category: Computer Engineering

The Evolution of NPR’s Picture Stories – Learning

In September of 2012, Claire O’Neill and I published a story about an amateur photographer named Charles Cushman. Cushman was a rare character for a couple of reasons. First, he was shooting in color at a time that most photographers were shooting in black and white, and though he was an amateur, he had an incredible instinct for making great pictures. His story and his photography were amazing, and we knew there was an opportunity to do something different with…

Switching to OAuth in the App Template

Suyeon Son and David Eads re-worked the authentication mechanism for accessing Google Spreadsheets with the NPR Visuals App Template. This is a significant change for App Template users. Here’s why we did it and how it works. Most App Template developers only need to consult the Configuring your system and Authenticating sections of this post, provided someone on your team has gone through the process of creating a Google API application and given you credentials. Why OAuth? Prior to this…

Multivariate testing: Learning what works from your users at scale

Multivariate and AB testing are generally used to iterate on products over time. But what do you do when your product is always different, like the visual stories we tell? For the past year, NPR Visuals has been iterating on a story format for picture stories that works like a slideshow, presenting full-width cards with photos, text and any other HTML elements. We have made various tweaks to the presentation, but since each story is substantially different, it’s hard to…

Work with us this summer!

Hey! Are you a student? Do you design? Develop? Love the web? …or… Do you make pictures? Want to learn to be a great photo editor? If so, we’d very much like to hear from you. You’ll spend the summer working on the visuals team here at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, DC. We’re a small group of photographers, videographers, photo editors, developers, designers and reporters in the NPR newsroom who work on visual stuff for npr.org. Our work varies widely,…

Baking Chart Data Into Your Page

Do you use our dailygraphics rig to create and deploy small charts? We’ve introduced a new feature: The latest version of copytext.py (0.1.8) allows users to inject serialized JSON from a Google Spreadsheet onto their page with one line of template code. Benefits: Store your text and your data in the same Google Spreadsheet, making editing a little simpler. The data is baked right into your page, so there’s one fewer file to load. (Thanks to Christopher Groskopf and Danny…

Responsive Graphics In Core Publisher With Pym.js

Note: This post is out of date. NPR Visuals recommends using the new pym-loader.js to load iframed content on Core Publisher pages. Editor’s Note: Core Publisher is a content management system that staff at many NPR member stations use to maintain their websites. This post is written for that audience, but may be useful for users of other CMSes. Over time, many member stations have created maps, graphics and other projects for their websites that were sized to fit Core…

Packaging Matters: Packaging Fail – How not to unload a Truck

Packaging Matters: Packaging Fail – How not to unload a Truck Pages Packaging Fail – How not to unload a Truck Packaging and material handling are everyday activities when they go as planned, but there are always special occurrences and variances to normal processes and events in your supply chain. Check out the following video of pallet jack material handling dock truck unloading gone amiss. That is quite the pallet jack fail, hopefully the operator was not harmed too much.…

Improving User Engagement Through Subtle Changes: Updating the Book Concierge

By David Eads and Christina Rees | December 12, 2014 The NPR year-end 2013 Book Concierge was a big hit. Instead of writing a bunch of lists, the books team solicited over 200 short reviews by critics and staff and put them into a single, beautiful website designed to make discovering great books fun. Readers loved it. For the 2014 Book Concierge, our goal was to build on last year’s success and resist the urge to rewrite the…

How IMVU Builds Web Services: Part 3

In this 3-part series, IMVU senior engineer Bill Welden describes the means and technology behind IMVU’s web services. Part 3: Documents and Links In the previous entry in this series I described how IMVU uses a structured network model to implement the uniform contract for our REST services and showed how they might apply to a set of services for a hypothetical high school scheduling system. Under this model we have Node Groups (represented by the different colors of circles in…

Apply NOW for a spring internship with NPR Visuals

Hey! Are you a student? Do you design? Develop? Love the web? …or… Do you make pictures? Want to learn to be a great photo editor? If so, we’d very much like to hear from you. You’ll spend the spring working on the visuals team here at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, DC. We’re a small group of photographers, videographers, photo editors, developers, designers and reporters in the NPR newsroom who work on visual stuff for [npr.org]. Our work varies widely,…