Embedded Audio Clips

When a story uses a short embedded audio recording of a subject or expert speaking. These clips play on their own instead of being part of a video. They are either activated by the user or play automatically when the user navigates to the page. Embedded audio clips are often paired with photography to give the user something to look at while they listen.

See: Crisis Guide: Darfur, Hope: Living & Loving, A Matter Of Life & Death, Anticipation On A City Block, Waterlife, The Big Issue, Beyond The Stoop, Carrie


Emphasis Captions

When sentences or words from an audio recording or video appear on the screen as text. These captions most often appear in photo videos where they are less likely to interfere with the image. They are usually used to emphasize a key point or particularly poignant line, like a pull quote in a magazine story.

See: Out My Window, Behind The Veil, This Land

Animated Openings

When a project, either Flash based or a tablet app, includes an animated introduction to the topic that can include moving text, images, or video that plays before the user can navigate to other parts of the story (although there is usually a skip option). Unlike full video or text introduction sections, these openings tend to be brief, sometimes taking only a second or two with only a few lines of text. Think of them as moving title pages.

See: Biblion: World’s Fair, How Much Is Left?, A¬†Matter of Life & Death, Soul-Patron, The Debt Trap, Carie, Our Choice, Waterlife, The Big Issue, Welcome To Pine Point, This Land, Test Tube, Out My Window

Automatic Video

When a video, usually on a loop, begins playing as soon as the page where the video is loads; this occurs without the user needing to click any play button (usually, there is no play or stop button). Automatic videos are often used in Flash-based projects. The video sometimes takes up the full page with other media layered on top of it.

See: Soul-Patron, The Big Issue, Welcome to Pine Point, This Land, Test Tube

Interactive Animation

Sometimes it can be fun to click on things and watch them move, even if it doesn’t help move the story forward in any way. This can mean pushing on a button, moving a paper clip across the screen, or, more usefully, flipping over a sticky note or Polaroid shot to reveal a bit of related text.

See: Welcome to Pine Point, Waterlife


When music and/or sound effects play in the background of a story whether a video is playing or not. Music soundtracks often consist of a series of songs which play on a loop.

See: Welcome to Pine Point, This Land, Waterlife, Out My Window, Soul-Patron, The Big Issue, Test Tube

Audio Narration

When text-heavy narratives also include audio narration so the user can listen instead of read. Audio narration can either come as an extra that needs to be chosen or as the first choice for presentation.

See: Lifted, This Land, Hope: Living & Loving