At Hanley Wood, I helped produce, design, and develop a number of cover stories and feature packages for the company’s publications. Here are a few highlights.
Charting a Business Succession
If you own a business, when is the ideal time to retire — and how do you do it? For a recent issue, Builder magazine created a flowchart that helps business owners figure out the various paths to exit. We wanted to present this on the web story in a native way — no squished skyscraper JPEGs here — so I redesigned the flowchart as clickable, animated HTML. The chart uses a custom flowchart script I wrote that gets possible questions and answers from a JSON, making future flowcharts an easy possibility.
Pinpointing Affordable Housing
For millions of Americans, affordable housing is an increasingly important issue, crossing financial and generational lines. Housing Finance chronicles the affordable rental housing business, and for 2016, the website wanted a way to visually track new housing developments throughout the year. I designed this map for the magazine, with pins that each mark a new project. Breaking from the norm for many such visualizations, each pin shows a full article about the development — eliminating the need to open separate pages, and allowing the viewer to see the development in context with others nearby. This was a valuable lesson in extending the usefulness of maps, where the size of a regular “popover” often can’t convey all the information it needs to.
Honoring Thoughtful Design
Great residential design ostensibly means photogenic rooms and cutting-edge amenities, but to Remodeling this only scratches the surface. Every year the Remodeling Design Awards recognize projects for their environmental, cultural, and accessibility considerations — from reusing existing materials to enhancing the living spaces of students with disabilities. In previous years, the awards were anchored around the magazine in a predominantly text format. Following a site redesign, I helped produce an ambitious digital feature that expanded the traditional coverage with video, contests, and slideshows. At the heart of this was Explore the Remodeling Design Awards, an interactive graphic I designed and developed to feature the winners. Besides contributing to a 42% increase in sessions over last year’s awards, this package earned us a Neal Award for Best Cross-Platform Package — one of the highest honors in specialized journalism. (We reprised the feature, with new additions and improvements, in 2015.)
Tracking Construction Shake-Ups
In the wake of the 2008 recession, the U.S. construction sector was massively disrupted, a reverberation felt in the shuttering of hundreds of building product businesses. This national data, captured by ProSales for nearly a decade, is invaluable — but business owners are also interested in (and affected by) trends at the local level. To that end, I designed and developed the Openings, Closings and Deals map, plotting building product company activity across the country. In addition to its reader features — including contextual popups, year- and activity-based filtering, and responsive support — the data is stored in a Google Sheet, so the map is easy for editors to update, and saves development resources.
Diving Into Reality TV
An industry with as rapid turnover as remodeling needs a resource for clear, peer-tested advice — especially when dealing with clients. Remodeling is a resource for pro remodelers that I’ve helped expand into multimedia storytelling. A feature about the impact of remodeling reality television on client relations was one of the first fruits of these efforts; I produced a web feature that expanded the foundation of the longform print cover story, integrating audio quotes from well-known industry figures, as well as interactive graphics.