Who made The Washington Post’s quote cards we saw during the GOP debate?

August 7, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

If you watched Thursday nights’ GOP Debate on Fox News and Twitter, you may have noticed The Washington Post tweeting quotes from the night with cards like the one above. You can see from the shares and likes that they did pretty well, too. Via email I spoke with National Digital Projects Editor Terri Rupar about the project.

These stood out from other things on Twitter last night. Where did the idea come from?

We know that people who are into news — especially political news — like Twitter. We wanted to experiment with how to help organize thoughts and stand out when there are so many people talking across social platforms. News organizations have social cards, but combining the illustrations of Richard Johnson, who works on our graphics team, with Chris Cillizza’s unique voice was a real win for us. Alex Laughlin and others on our social team also created cards that resonated with Facebook users.

How did you make them? Canva, another tool or in-house?

We built our tool using Vox’s open-source tool. Because the UX had already been worked through, we were able to focus on customization. Martin Li on our engineering team helped us figure out how to execute what we wanted.

You could have easily used photos of the candidates with their quotes. Why the illustration and why that particular style?

The illustrations are something that only we have, and it made the cards feel part of a whole. Photos also can be challenging to work off live, so it added predictability both for us and for our readers on social platforms.

The quotes also stood out. They weren’t the policy quotes necessarily but the one-liners that echoed on Twitter after they were said. Why did you go for those?

We didn’t really know how a stage with 10 men – one of them Donald Trump – would go! It was such an exciting, interesting debate, and we were trying to reflect that liveliness.

You guys were really fast with these last night. Can you tell us about the process and who was working on them?

The social conversation can move really quickly, so the tool had to be simple, and it was. Chris Cillizza was making them for his own Twitter account – so it’s a testament to both his speed and the tool’s ease of use that he was able to get them out so quickly!

Will we be seeing these on a regular basis or at the next debate?

We’re continuing to experiment and iterate, but as long as the debates provide the fodder, we’ll keep using them.