Background: Truth in Photography is an open-ended forum for active dialogue and discussion about photography and social change, exploring the issues vital to truth in imagemaking that are crucial to our world today. This interactive project questions the singular truth of photography by presenting multiple points of view—featuring diverse curators, photographers, critics and historians—and integrating vernacular photography, photojournalism and fine art photography. The target audience is anyone interested in the history, ethics and practices of photography.
Design core: The homepage enables access to the multiple elements of our website. The site’s main content is the quarterly edition, which appears as one long webpage. This page has different exhibitions you can access by reading in order, or you can view them directly from buttons and a navigation bar. Each exhibition has an introductory text; selected photos, videos and text; an then photo essays that take you to separate pages. A return button at the bottom of each photo essay sends you back to the exact part of the edition page where you left. Another key feature is the interactive Share Your Truth page, which showcases user-contributed photos and text. The page has a form where users can submit a single image, describe it and then answer the question: How does the image express or manipulate truth? Upon review, the image and text will be added to the site and shared on social media.
Challenges: Working out how to present the massive amount of content we had collected for the project. At times in the development, the site became overly dense and difficult to navigate. We solved these problems by limiting our content and planning a schedule to cycle content over time, as well as restructuring our website to have more of the content appear on separate webpages.
Navigation structure: There are two different navigation bars depending on where you are on the website. When you are on the homepage, a top navigational bar gives you the options of our current edition; our op-ed section, Truth in Photography Is…; a page for user contributions, Share Your Truth; About; and Submissions. Once you click on the current edition, the top navigation bar changes and offers links to the Introduction and the exhibitions. The intention here was to make the edition easier to navigate and more book-like, with different chapters to which readers can easily flip. At any time, you can click the large home button in the top left to return to the homepage. There are also buttons for all those elements in the footer of every page.
Technology: The site was built using the Weebly website builder, enhanced with several of its third party apps and custom HTML. While this has imposed some design limitations, using a website builder enabled our nonprofit’s site to be cheaper and easier to create, update and maintain.