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In 2015 social media was changing the news media industry and catalyzing social movements. Verbatm was founded to serve the nuanced needs of activists around the world trying to use social media to connect, organize, and tell their stories.


Designing Verbatm was a monumental challenge. There were technological, political, and cultural factors to identify, weigh, and synthesize into a product experience. I worked with a variety of stakeholders, from activists to journalists. We launched Verbatm in 2015 and grew our user base to hundreds of story-tellers, each reporting from the streets and documenting protests, rallies, workshops, and events centered around social justice.

The aesthetic of Verbatm account was inspired by early Tumblr. The top half of the screen is a cover photo with a username. I wanted the user to have complete creative control over the feel of the page which is why we offered a variety of fonts and colors and allowed any style of grid adjustment of the photo. 

The tiles at the bottom are multipage stories. If a user taps the tile, the media expands into full screen, and swiping vertically on an expanded post will take the user through multiple pages of the story. Scrolling horizontally on the carousel reveals stories in reverse chronological order. Users can "like", "reshare" and "comment" on each post.
To create a post, a user uploads or captures media. Pinching the media circles together into a collection creates a multimedia experience. For example, as demonstrated to the right, pinching multiple photos together creates a slideshow. Each collection is a page in a story. 
Each story can have innumerable pages. 
Published stories are saved on the user profile. Each user also has the option of sharing their story on Facebook, Twitter or SMS. 
Our team faced the "cold start problem", meaning how would we bring lots of people into a cold, empty room? The answer was to usher them inside in friendly groups. Our discover screen allowed users to invite friends from their Contacts or Facebook. We also conducted outreach initiatives across various Bay Area art collectives, non-profits and organizations.
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