Consciously Controlled! | AR App.
Updated: Jun 21
As an Arab living here in the states, I have always thought op-ed columns were another privilege of "freedom of speech" we don't really enjoy in the Middle East.
We have op-eds in our newspapers, but they're usually about tech and stock predictions, nothing political or accusatory.
Consciously controlled is a personal project that portrays real-time articles from NYT’s op-ed section in large speech bubbles. NYT articles occupy the larger speech bubbles, but other speech bubbles are smaller with redacted "opinions" that can't be published without negative consequences.
-JSON file from nytimes developers site
I focused first about getting AR to work without thoroughly thinking about design. I played around with different fonts and speech/thought bubbles and placed a bunch of underscores next to each other to imitate a redacted text.
After making getting it to work and being done with the technical stuff (documented below). Using a simple design, I was able to convey my idea visually, while also providing space for interpretation and explaining my thought process. I've experimented with different types of design, colors and placements.
In order to make this design accessible, simple, and relatable to newspapers, I chose a monochromatic style. I ran the colors through a contrast checker and they passed WCAG 2.1 Level AAA, and they are color blind safe. For the font, I chose ‘Calibri’ since it has a publication look and feel to it, and is also dyslexia friendly. I went with font size of 19pt then expanded the canvas to position it relatively to meet the eye level at the position of instantiation.
-To illustrate that some opinions matter more than others, and to touch upon censorship and the fear of speaking one's mind in some countries, certain speech bubbles are larger than the redacted ones.
-Some of the redacted text is written from left to right. This is because I don't want to focus on one region.
Methodology; Let's Tech Talk!
My goal was to grab an API from an international publication. Based on my research and prototyping, I found that the NYTimes provides a customizable API key. The API Key for the Op-ed section is not available, so I've used the one for 'Article Search' and specified in the code to grab exactly two articles.