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Retro Future Hackernews

Experimental web experience

An experimental interactive typographic visualization for the social-media site Hacker News, a news aggregator which focuses on technology and science.


  • concept
  • visual interface design
  • data visualisation


  • Mar 2018

The fully responsive application invites the user to pay more attention to individual headlines and controversy rather than scanning the site within seconds. The x- and y-position of each reaction is mapped to length and date of the comment.

Sequences of a conversation related to a news post visualized similar to intitial reactions on the main page with connected lines.

The project

This project can be seen as a space for experiments and questioning the status quo of how the web looks in these days. The approach of the project follows the idea of breaking with conventional displays of nested lists and grid to arrange and order information. The visual language follows the idea of connection and sequences between posts and reactions.

Sketches of the visualisation were always prototyped in code and helped to be aware of technical constraints.

The application

The goal of the visualization was to develop a working application which can be used to consume the information of the platform without limitations and represent it's complexity. At the same time we were interested in providing a strong user experience which lasts and inspires. Each news posting redirects the user to the source of information. Nested comment structures were visualized as ordered networks.

Map overview displays overlapping formal bus and informal taxi routes of Cape Town.

Inverted color mode of the comments section from a news posting

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