Assembly is a concept project that originated from my research for a Master in Communication Design at Politecnico Milano. The research was focused on the state of the art for the news online. A field where after a decade of digital evolution, still there isn't a real answer to the needs of those who want to consume news online in a smart way. Assembly tries to answer some of those needs, being somehow a mix between a social network and a newsroom. It's basically a platform where the users can link to articles sourced from all over the internet. These articles are then organized through tags and assembled into many channels. Meanwhile, the editorial team of the platform generates background content to help the readers understand more of what's said in those articles.
As previously said, in order to help users find the content easily, all the articles are given tags and are organized into channels. Moreover, those channels always have a double axis structure, dividing the userbased content sourced from the web, from the background content that is generated in the platform.
All the articles sourced from the internet are firstly presented in their original layout, in order to allow the original advertising system to work. Assembly users will be able though to restyle the articles and have them displayed in the clean assemblylayout. As you can see in the following image, the layout is very simple and focused on good typography.
Most of the content generated on the platform doesn't take the form of articles. As much background information isn't communicated very well just with words, I added some alternative formats in the platform. Here, you can find Maps, Timelines, Infographics and Lists. Moreover, as you can see in the following pictures, part of the background content is generated directly from sourcing the content from wikipedia. This is done in order to reduce useless clones of content that we can freely access anytime on wikipedia.
The social aspect of the platform is one of the most important in my opinion. By adding a social aspect in the news field, I think platforms can try to incentivate user retainment and the creation of a community. This is something in which all current news solutions fail, apart from the new Flipboard. In assembly, not only the users become the center of the news community, but I also added some little ideas to try to incentivate user retainment even more: the use of badges, alongside a bookmarks tool and a up-down voting system.
Business is for all the contemporary news outlet the biggest problem. For assembly, I tried to find solutions that could free the platform from the omnipresent and very little money-making advertising system. The advertising system is fundamentally broken, as many more people use tools as ADBlock every day. For this reason I decided to imagine for assembly a business plan where the platform sustain itself only with its own content. Alongside the organization of events related to themes of the contemporary, the editors would also publish small digital booklets about interesting aspects of our time.
The entire assembly website was designed with mobile in mind. The simple structure of the teasers, of the pages and the articles allows for an easy scaling to a smaller screen. The functionalities of the platform were all reduced as much as possible to allow the mobile version to be exactly as performative as the desktop one.
For assembly I decided to combine two very different fonts, the Tiempos and the Colfax, in order to achieve a typographical tension that would make the layouts more interesting and pleasing for the eyes. I chose a yellow for the platform in order to try to help it stand between all the digital blues and greens that we see in most startups and digital services nowadays. And because I just like yellow.