Project description

Q is a browser-based toolbox that allows reporters and editors to create simple graphics and interactive elements for their stories. It currently provides 15 tools from charts, maps, tables to quizzes, image juxtapositions, isotype charts to election and referendum results.
Built in 2016 as a prototype, it was officially launched and open-sourced in June 2017 and currently used in the newsrooms of Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) and NZZ am Sonntag.

What makes this project innovative?

Q is neither the first nor the most powerful suite for journalists to create their own graphics. What sets it apart and makes it truly innovative is the approach that focuses on simplicity of use in order to achieve maximum impact in a diverse newsroom. It's a toolbox to get everyone on board, not allow a handful of data journalists to make better graphics.
- Everything in one place, searchable, reusable
- Direct drag and drop integration to the CMS
- Once embedded, all edits go live automagically
- Streamlined user interface makes it easy to learn new tools
- Expert mode for more sophisticated users keeps it simple for everyone else
From a technological standpoint, it allows for deeper integration with the organisation's tech stack than most tools and gives the developers maximum flexibility is creating just the tools their newsroom needs with the technology they see fit.
- Open Source, MIT licensed
- Implement new tools with the technology that fits your needs best
- Fully integrate Q into the delivery pipeline of your website and app
- Theme your tool output for different targets
- Deliver different output formats to different targets (e.g. PNG for the app, HTML/CSS/JS for the website)

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

* To date, editors and reporters of Neue Zürcher Zeitung have created more than 6000 graphics, maps and other visual elements with the toolbox, currently averaging more than 100 new ones per week, making the overall report a lot more visual whenever it makes sense and enhances the experience for the user.
* In a newsroom of more than 200 editors, reporters and correspondents, about two thirds have already created their own graphics in Q.
* Q-items included in articles on nzz.ch have created tens of millions of impressions and have proven to increase the average engage time in articles where they've been used.

Source and methodology

not applicable.

Technologies Used

See https://nzzdev.github.io/Q-server/.

Project members

Q is a team effort by NZZ Storytelling.
Tech lead and the mastermind behind Q: Beni Buess
Development: Sharon Funke, Manuel Roth
Design: Simon Wimmer, Balz Rittmeyer, Anna Wiederkehr
Rollout/coaching: Marie-José Kolly, Alexandra Kohler, and many, many more.

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