Product Concept, Animation
Rumi
A design concept for a competition prompt from The New York Times. When it comes to news literacy, we believe awareness leads to action. Rumi is an educational tool that empowers readers and gives them the freedom to investigate any piece of journalism carefully, and thoroughly on their own. Our goal is to create an accessible tool that will make critical reading in the digital age, second nature.

This is collaboration of Lucy Wang and Bill Chien.
The concept of Rumi takes form in a web extension / web app, which has three unique news literacy tools. Its accessibility allows readers to easily analyze any online article, starting with a single click.

One-Click Transformation

When a reader launches Rumi, she immediately enters a focused reading environment without distractions. Consider this as Readers Mode 2.0.

Notes

Notes allows the reader to highlight and annotate freely. This will activate her critical thinking skills, and help her better recall evidence when needed.

Probe

Probe acts as a guide to help the reader define the type of article she is reading by asking thought provoking questions.

Filter

Filter puts the power of advanced AI technology in the hands of the reader. It reveals the amount of evidence and speculation in an article.

Save the Work

The reader can choose to save her hardwork as PDFs, which will include all of her notes and selections.

01
BRIEF
We chose this brief for its focus on tackling an important topic — news literacy, the ability to distinguish news and opinion and critically evaluate information in the digital age.
The notion of helping readers equip such an important skill made it the most meaningful brief amongst the others.
02
PROCESS

Explore

News Literacy is not a hard concept to define. The challenging part was how we can easily equip people with such a skill. We researched, looked at detailed definitions of news literacy, and came up with many ideas — social media campaigns, websites,  brochures, etc. Most of them do create awareness, but that’s not enough. We believed there had to be actions, as most people learning by doing.

Define

“It has to be something you can use quickly.” After we pondered forms and goals through the lance of The New York Time’s brand voice, we landed on the idea of creating an accessible educational tool, a web extension, which has the easiest access possible.

Interface

Rumi’s interface is simple and straightforward, as it should be. We went through a few variation to make sure the reader can focus on the article while easily navigate all the tools she needs.

Visual Language

Rumi’s visual language borrows from The New York Times’ existing branding. It echoes The New York Times black letter wordmark, which has distinct contrasts in the letter forms.

Naming + Symbol

Rumi is short for Ruminate, defined as thinking deeply about something or chewing the cud carefully. We chose cow as the symbol, since it’s a great metaphor for digesting information detailedly and attentively.

Symbol designed by Lucy Wang.