Atavist Product Overview
As a platform devoted to the craft of storytelling, we’ve worked to optimize every part of the creation process, from typography, to our “blocks”-based method of adding media, to title designs and themes, to custom sharing images. Our philosophy is that the way stories are design and packaged, and the care you put into them, impact how your readers and viewers receive them. So we’ve developed an interface that is intuitive and tactile, and that encourages the creation of stories that are as unique as our users are diverse.
Creation starts with our custom text editor, designed for the modern web. We’ve stripped away features and menus so that the compositional interface allows the creator to focus on writing and designing. You can customize the styling of text sections by highlighting text and choosing from a popup toolbar.
Atavist is built around the concept of blocks, an easy way to add images, video, audio, charts, and embeds to your project—all without writing code. Blocks make stories infinitely customizable, in the simplest possible way.
Adding an image or video, for example is as simple as dragging media from a desktop or pulling in the block and uploading media into it.
Or maybe you’d like to compare two images with a slider? There’s a block for that, too:
You can get more sophisticated with an adjustable parallax image block, which uses a scrolling animation currently in vogue:
Our own blocks include not just images, but videos, charts (with data pulled in from Google Sheets), slideshows, audio, and pull quotes. Beyond our own media types, though, we want our creators to craft their stories with all of the services where they may already have created content. So in addition you’ll fine a host of blocks that allow embeds from other services: YouTube, Vimeo, Giphy, Soundcloud, Twitter, Instagram, and Slideshare, plus a generalized embed block that allows endless other services our creators use, to be dropped in with a simple code.
The platform currently lets creators produce stories that can be navigated either through a single scroll (common among news articles, individual stories), or a horizontal pagination (common among corporate and nonprofit reports and educational materials).
Themes are visual skins that allow you to quickly and easily experiment with different typefaces and stylings, escaping from the web-production world of templates. Switching between themes doesn’t effect content, but allows us to release new styles constantly.
Mobile Optimization and Preview
Since the majority of readers view stories made with Atavist on mobile, it’s obviously crucial that everything created in the platform be mobile friendly. Blocks are built to translate gracefully on smaller screens, without any work on the creator side. A mobile preview features allows creators to design mobile first, while making sure the everything looks perfect on desktops as well.
Of course beautiful stories are meant to be shared, so before publishing the platform lets users optimize their sharing options.
Anyone publishing on the web today wants to track how their work is doing. The platform includes everything from basic readers and read-times, to custom Google Analytics, all the way up to embedded services like ChartBeat.
Team, Branding, and Developer Features
For organizations, the platform offers a range of high end features, including the ability for teams to collaborate on stories, the ability to brand their stories and publications as their own, and commerce options including selling single stories and metered paywalls for subscription models. We also have an open architecture so that at higher tiers, power users can develop on top of it, whether it’s light CSS or their own custom themes and blocks.
Under the Hood
We employ a bleeding-edge standard called “Web Components” that makes our creation process maximally fluid. Together with Web Compents we take advantage of a software initiative from Google, Polymer, that makes component-based design possible today. We were highlighted at this year’s Google I/O Conference for our innovative useof Polymer.)