NYT: The Russia Left Behind

In classic New York Times style, their piece The Russia Left Behind beautifully presents the story of Russian cities that are being bypassed in growing economic inequalities. The user is first greeted by a stunning full page photo.

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The site uses scrolling to tell the story. As the story follows a train from St. Petersburg to Moscow, the navigation along the side shows the progression of the train which is tied to the progression of the story.

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The site’s use of color reflects the tone of the piece. It sticks to just an orange color that is used to track the user’s progression through the site and through Russia.

One of my favorite things about the site is the decision to not have the videos automatically play. While reading the story, I appreciated not having a video play unexpectedly. I could press the play button when I was at a good break in the text. The slideshows in the presentation do play automatically. As a user, I was not bothered by this. There is a navigation bar below each slideshow so you can choose to go back to photos or skip ahead.

Overall, I thought the site was very smartly designed. The scrolling navigation made the user experience seamless. Every aspect of a user’s visit to the site was carefully considered in this wonderful presentation.

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One thought on “NYT: The Russia Left Behind

  1. I really like this piece. I love how the side of the piece has the visual which tracks where you are, both in the story and on the train’s path. Also, agreed on the auto play – it really bothers me when videos/audio just starts playing. It can be incredibly jarring, and it’s nice to have the option to make it play yourself.

    In playing with the window, I saw the piece adjusts pretty well to a different window size. The placement visual goes away when the window not large enough to properly fit it, which is smart from a design perspective.

    –Shelby Mann

    Like

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