21 Sep 2017

Citations and References Designs

As the Trust Project continues to advance its mission to help journalistic content stand out from misinformation, fake news and advertising, a group of 20 designers, producers, and product managers gathered in Washington, D.C., last week to prototype ways for reporters and editors to show their work during a two-day design sprint hosted by Katie Parker and The Washington Post.


Trust Project founder Sally Lehrman kicked off the event by shedding light on the increasingly skeptical nature of news consumers, and Kyle Ellis of American City Business Journals facilitated the design sprint itself. Group discussion generally centered around practical themes like front-end display and back-end workflow of citations and references, as well as philosophical themes such as establishing standards of use. In less than six hours, teams quickly boiled those larger themes into actionable ideas.


Each of the prototypes below respond to personas crafted by Trust Project researcher Christine Kurjan, and help contextualize for users the sources and source materials journalists rely on to report their stories.

Trust Project

Source Biographies

Team members: Marco Antonutti, Gruppo Gedi-Repubblica; Mikayla Bouchard, The New York Times; Paige Connor, CQ Roll Call; Patrick Slawinski, USA Today

The idea: A SlackBot reporters can use to gather source information during an interview, which later renders on the article page.


Team members: Libby Bawcombe, NPR; Julia Smith, INN; Matthew Strom, The Wall Street Journal; Patrick Thornton, CQ Roll Call

The idea: A timeline of sources, citations and references that adds another layer of transparency to the reporting process by placing source material within the context of how a story was developed.

Source Brief

Source Brief

Team members: Katie Chipman, USA Today; Nick Etemadipour, IJR; Katie Parker, The Washington Post; Kristi Walker, Pew Research

The idea: Standardized source information for hyperlinks in news articles.

Extra Information Later

Team members: Angela Barber, The Globe and Mail (Toronto); Blake Hunsicker, The Washington Post; Richard Lations, INN; Devin Slater, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

The idea: A set of additional story components that will allow readers to dive deeper into the evolution of a story, source and reference material, and the reporting process, without interrupting the reading experience

Extra Information Later