NPR interactive story: Okkervil River

The site I chose to talk about is NPR’s Okkervil River: Coming of Age in Small Town America, a feature story about Will Sheff.

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This story consists two pages: one is a regular page that include text, audio, and a overall look at the map. Once users click the map, it guides the users to another page, which is an interactive map.  

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This interactive map use the audio as the cue to guide users to different parts of the map, illustrating Sheff’s memory throughout his life in Meriden. When different scenes/locations come up, a series of pictures will appear at the bottom, which is clickable. And there’s a spotlight effect throughout the story: when the audio cues a location, the browser guides users to that location with a spotlight highlighting the area.

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Users can also manipulate the scenes by changing the audio section at the top of the page.

NPR uses a track web page javascript and several other javascript to create the effect.

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I don’t really get the entire purpose of this javascript, but I guess it allows all the zoom-in-and-out on the map.

I think the site is quite high-tech. But it’s gonna be better if the audio also follows users’ clicks on maps. This is going to make the map more interactive and effective. So far it’s good but not perfect.

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One response to “NPR interactive story: Okkervil River

  1. What a neat idea! I agree, though, I think the map should allow users to click through on their own and base the audio off where they click. This would give the users much more control over what they want to learn through the site.

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