Kat Downs Mulder

Interactive design and development

Latest Posts

Tax Calculators on Wonkbook

This week we launched two new interactives embedded in Ezra Klein’s blog, Wonkbook. Ezra and Dylan Matthews put together the information, Todd Lindeman designed it and Andrew Metcalf built it. I helped with styles, etc. It’s a fun experience, and I love that it’s built for the blog. Check them out!

Romney version here:

Obama version here:

New homicides map

We just launched this interactive map with details about 2,294 homicides that occurred in D.C. between 2000 and 2011. You can find the killings in your neighborhood, follow the trends over time, and learn how the victims died and what happened to their cases.

Key findings featured in the graphic:
Click the headline to jump straight to that view in the map.

Homicides in D.C. are down 55 percent since 2000
The number of homicides in the District fell last year to 108, a 49-year low. Despite the decline, homicide continues to be a tough crime to solve and prosecute in the city.

Motives: Drug killings down 84 percent
The most common motives for homicide in D.C. are arguments, drugs and retaliation. About 2 percent are classified as gang-related. Homicides involving drugs have decreased about 84 percent since 2000. Drug-related homicides accounted for eight of the city’s killings last year, compared with 49 in 2000.

Most dangerous age: 24 percent of those killed were in their early 20s
More than half of the District’s homicide victims between 2000 and 2011 were between the ages of 15 and 29. About 93 percent of those victims were male, and 94 percent were African American.

Seeing liberty through the lens

The Post has some of the best photojournalists in the world, and it’s always such a pleasure to work with them. For this three-part series on Virginia voters, Melina Mara took portraits of Virginians and interviewed them. Nick Kirkpatrick recorded and edited audio from the interviews. Then Bonnie Jo Mount traveled the state to photograph the themes: women, economy, and faith. Grace Koerber designed the beautiful package, and I was her editor. After she left the Post to go back to school for interior design, I handled the second two installments, putting together the mosaics and working on package branding. I love the slideshow and mosaic pattern Grace designed — it’s an inspiring way to do individual portraits and interviews. The ability to view images as a mosaic or in a full-screen gallery view is awesome.

For part two and three, I designed the mosaics. It was fun to lay out the page, especially with Bonnie Jo’s amazing photographs to work with. You can’t go wrong:

Say What? Interactive transcript player tool is a new way to tell speech stories

Ryan speech

Yesterday, we launched a new project: an interactive transcript player that matches up the words of the speech, Post analysis, and reaction from Twitter.

I have been wanting to do a Twitter project for a while, and this time all the pieces fit together. After I pitched the idea, Cory Haik coordinated a partnership with VoterTide, a great company in Omaha that does aggregation and analysis of Twitter trends specifically around politics, that made the Twitter analysis segment possible. I designed the piece, and we were able to get two awesome developers, Leslie Passante and Jeremy Bowers, to build it.

My favorite things are the ‘watch highlights’ view, where you can see all the Post analysis and skip everything else, and the addition of the social layer. Here’s an excerpt from the ‘Ask the Post’ blog post we put together on it:

… VoterTide will provide user reactions as they happen on Twitter, and we’ll match that to the moment in time these reactions occurred during the speech. We will package these reactions to reveal insights into the nation’s response to the conventions and their most-watched speeches.

We’ve gotten some great reaction from this project on washingtonpost.com and on Twitter. It was also written up by Poynter:

So as the GOP nominee took to the podium and the president prepares to do the same at next week’s DNC, it is appropriate that journalists roll out the coolest newest thing. The Washington Post did just that.

“Some innovations we have done, you step back and say, ‘That was fun.’ And some you might say, ‘We produced a new story form.’ But this time I think we can say both,” Haik said.

Totally agree! And we just did another one for Mitt Romney’s speech. This project would not be possible without the awesome producers who put it together: Haley Crum and Mary Keister. Check it out!

Washington Post Olympics graphics and multimedia roundup

Here’s some of what the WaPo team put together for the London Olympics:

The definition of perfection
I designed this piece about how gymnastics scoring worked. Wilson Andrews developed it and edited/animated the videos, and Bonnie Berkowitz did the writing.

definition of perfection

Profiles in Speed
This six-part series we developed in the run-up to the Olympics featured greats like Missy Franklin, Michael Phelps and Carmelita Jeter. Videos, infographics, and awesome articles. I especially love the segment on technology.

profiles in speed

Are you over the hill for Olympic sports?
As part of the Profiles in Speed series, I developed this graphic which lets you see where you fit into the Olympic age spectrum. Flowing Data wrote about it here.

over the hill

Four more pieces after the jump! »

Catching up on 2012

I’ve been completely delinquent about posting here. I will try to do better, and in the meantime, here is a selection of work from the first part of the year (am going to follow this up with some breakout posts on specific projects).

What’s at stake on Super Tuesday?
Going way back to Super Tuesday, we published this really fun motion graphic featuring Chris Cillizza and the delegate mountain that Todd Lindeman and Sisi Wei built. I worked on storyboarding it with the team, a well as helping in the studio (led by AJ Chavar and Sohail Al-Jamea) and with building out the page. The project was really fun and newsy, and a great job especially by animator Sohail, and of course Chris Cillizza.

super tuesday

Rescue and Recovery
This is a really powerful piece looking at Virginia Tech five years after the massacre, through the lens of an iconic image of survivor Kevin Sterne. I did design, development, audio and wrote one of the segments of the piece. I love the simplicity and amazing story. Again, an awesome team effort with work from Ben de la Cruz, Bill O’Leary, Josh du Lac and others:

VA tech five years later

Repairing the Washington Monument
This piece about the damage to the national icon just came out last week — featuring a 3-D model by Alberto Cuadra, and reporting by Cristina Rivero. Kathryn Faulkner, the summer intern in graphics, did most of the heavy lifting on the interactive side, with me in an editing role and pitching in to help with some of the tricky parts, like the rotating model. The piece turned out beautifully:

washington monument damage