About me

Hi. I'm Ryan.

I've spent my career in communications — specifically, the information communications business. Through information visualization, writing, editing and design, I find the important messages and express them in the best ways possible. Sometimes I reach this goal with a few carefully chosen words. More often, however, the effort involves distilling mountains of information into meaningful and enjoyable experiences. This makes repeat customers out of consumers of media.

Having a leadership role in a high-pressure, results-oriented newsroom presents a mountain of challenges. It's important to know when to collaborate, delegate and run solo. Success requires juggling the needs of multiple audiences on multiple platforms, and being a quick study doesn't hurt either. (All while on deadline, of course.)

Work history

2002 2005 2010 Present
Copy editor, designer, Presentation Editor The News-Enterprise
Designer, Graphics Editor The Times of Northwest Indiana
Graphic reporter, Assistant DataViz Editor Chicago Tribune

Digital/Web skills

Responsive design
Javascript (ES6), Node, NPM
HTML5 + CSS, SASS
D3
Python
Wordpress
SEO techniques

Research & Data skills

Internet research
Microsoft Office
Excel, Access
QGIS, ArcGIS

Design skills

Photoshop
Illustrator
InDesign
Prototypes
After Effects

My work

Ryan Portfolio

Ryan Portfolio

  • #tarbell
  • #sass
  • #python

The one-stop shop for all you need to know about Ryan Marx, journalist and web developer. It's also probably the very site from which you found this repo.

Created
Dec. 26, 2017
Updated
Mar. 12, 2018
Candidate Surveys 2018

Candidate Surveys 2018

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #python
  • #sass

Every year the Chicago Tribune editorial board sends surveys to all candidates in Chicago-relevant races. This Tarbell app is fed the candidates' responses which it formats along with a comprehensive index of all candidates. As board endorsements roll in, the homepage will serve double duty as a voting guide.

Created
Jan. 24, 2018
Updated
Feb. 12, 2018
Shooting Homicide Victims

Shooting Homicide Victims

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #dataviz

This dashboard consumes data collected by the Chicago Tribune breaking news desk and presents it in a variety of ways using some pre-baked elements (NodeJS) and some client-side charting. The goal is to add context and understanding to the victims of Chicago's violence. A companion app (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/data/ct-shooting-victims-map-charts-htmlstory.html) uses identical templates but different data to look at victims of shootings (all shootings, not just fatal).

Created
May. 17, 2017
Updated
Feb. 12, 2018
Amazon Hq2 Finalists

Amazon Hq2 Finalists

  • #tarbell
  • #python
  • #sass

This collection of charts, built in collboration with the Graphics Editor, compares the demographics of all the finalist bids for Amazon's new headquarters. The charting is driven with sass and python. The only javascript used is for the toggle menu. This was a quick turnaround project with my editor, who collected the information but left it to me to display.

Created
Jan. 18, 2018
Updated
Jan. 24, 2018
Faces Of Daca

Faces Of Daca

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #sass

Tribune photographer Abel Uribe spent months taking portraits and interviews or DACA recipients, aka "dreamers." For a multimedia project of this scope and nuance, a simple photo gallery will not suffice. The goal here was simple and elegant, letting the people behind the various media shine.

Created
Jan. 10, 2018
Updated
Jan. 24, 2018
Lake Michigan Water Stories

Lake Michigan Water Stories

  • #tarbell
  • #archieml
  • #python
  • #javascript

I was tasked with designing and building the presentation for one of this year's showpiece offerings: an investigation on the way water and water rates are used to subjugate poor communities and communities of color in the Chicago region. Colleagues created the visual assets and I collected them into a content flow using ArchieML. A previous version of this rig was used in the Tribune's property-tax investigation.

Created
Sep. 5, 2017
Updated
Dec. 27, 2017
Cook County Property Tax Stories

Cook County Property Tax Stories

  • #tarbell
  • #archieml
  • #javascript
  • #python

Arguably the most important story the Tribune published in 2017 was an in-depth investagation into the corruption and inequality underlying Cook County's property-tax system. I designed the story rig as well as many of the charts and interactives contained therein. The content is delivered to the app via ArchieML. A subsequent version of this rig was used in the Tribune's water rates investigation.

Created
Mar. 24, 2017
Updated
Dec. 10, 2017
School Report Card Lookup 2017

School Report Card Lookup 2017

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #d3js
  • #python
  • #sass

It's important for our readers to be able to find themselves in our journalism, and one's own school/district is at the top of that list. Much of this app relies on a delicate interplay between sass styling and javascript to offer a quick and accessible look at each district. I built this app in collaboration with our top data reporter and another engineer, who helped with back-end data stuff.

Created
Oct. 26, 2017
Updated
Nov. 9, 2017
National League Central Tracker 2017

National League Central Tracker 2017

  • #tarbell
  • #d3js
  • #sass

This dashboard/tracker let sports fans watch as the Cubs fought to defend their historic world championship. Data was collected and updated nightly in collaboration with the sports staff.

Created
Sep. 1, 2017
Updated
Sep. 28, 2017
Baseball Stadium Food

Baseball Stadium Food

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #sass

The Tribune's intrepid food writers sampled each and every concession at both Chicago baseball stadiums. This app organizes their findings in an easy-to-sort and easy-to-filter format and even will help you find them at the ballpark.

Created
Jul. 11, 2017
Updated
Jul. 19, 2017
Cook County Property Tax Broken Model

Cook County Property Tax Broken Model

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #d3js
  • #data

This chart, produced as a component for the Tribune's "The Tax Divide" investigation, demonstrates how regressive residential property tax rates have become in Cook County. The whole project, for which I did the story design, can be seen here.

Created
Apr. 8, 2017
Updated
Jun. 9, 2017
Cutler Pass Attempts

Cutler Pass Attempts

  • #tarbell
  • #d3js
  • #sass
  • #javascript
  • #data

It was the end of an infuriating era for the Chicago Bears, and this visualization depicts each of the nearly 3,400 passes attempted by quarterback Jay Cutler as a Chicago Bear. A robust series of toggles and filters lets the user see Cutler's success by game situation and teammates.

Created
Dec. 21, 2016
Updated
Mar. 5, 2017
Crane Construction Projects Chicago

Crane Construction Projects Chicago

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #leaflet
  • #d3js

This bit of original reporting tracked the recovery of highrise construction in Chicago using crane permits. It takes a simple dataset and presents it multiple ways while highlighting the various projects which got off the ground in 2016.

Created
Dec. 6, 2016
Updated
Dec. 23, 2016
Local Funding Schools 2016

Local Funding Schools 2016

  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #d3js

An analysis of school funding data showing that school districts in richer counties shoulder a larger share of public school costs than do districts in poorer counties.

Created
Nov. 19, 2016
Updated
Dec. 2, 2016
Midwest Voting Demographics Trump

Midwest Voting Demographics Trump

  • #sass
  • #d3js
  • #tarbell
  • #data
  • #map

The "blue island" in a red midwest was a theme we tackled in several ways following Donald Trump's presidential election. These charts try to shed light on what happened by exploring the red/blue midwestern divide via several demographics.

Created
Nov. 9, 2016
Updated
Nov. 15, 2016
Rio Olympian Value

Rio Olympian Value

  • #tarbell
  • #dataviz
  • #javascript
  • #d3js
  • #sass

Using a d3- and Jinja-based scatterplot tool I built, this visualization charts the qualitative olympic success of an athlete against his or her future earnings potential (as an Olympian).

Created
Aug. 18, 2016
Updated
Aug. 20, 2016
Lollapalooza Genres

Lollapalooza Genres

  • #sass
  • #tarbell
  • #javascript
  • #data

A visualization of all the bands to ever play Lollapalooza (updated for the 25th anniversary). Includes details for each band.

Created
Jul. 27, 2016
Updated
Jul. 27, 2016
Residential Treatment Centers

Residential Treatment Centers

  • #sass
  • #tarbell

For a Chicago Tribune investigative project on wards of the state, illustrator Rick Tuma and I worked with the Watchdog team to produce several youth-oriented stories in graphic novel format. The main investigative pieces were critical, but a bit dry. Much of the human elements were lost in the editing process, so we collected them in these graphic essays.

Created
Nov. 4, 2014
Updated
May. 20, 2016
Superweeds

Superweeds

  • #tarbell
  • #sass

For an investigative story on the rise of weedkiller-resistant weeds, I made code-based animations (with illustrator Rick Tuma) and graphics showing how weeds learn to resist.

Created
Nov. 12, 2015
Updated
Dec. 3, 2015
Eastland

Eastland

  • #sass
  • #tarbell

A digital graphic novel produced with master illustrator Rick Tuma. It was the 100th anniversary of a major historical event and we wanted to illustrate the tragedy by highlighting the human toll. Rick handled the beautiful illustrations while I built the rig to display it.

Created
Jun. 4, 2015
Updated
Aug. 25, 2015
Brief History Of Class Warfare Timeline

Brief History Of Class Warfare Timeline

  • #tarbell
  • #sass

This collarboration with a couple of the Chicago Tribune's resident historians covers the Windy City's rich history of class warfare. It's presented in a flexible timeline rig which I built for our Tarbell-based workflow and consumes data from a Google spreadsheet.

Created
Jul. 24, 2014
Updated
Aug. 21, 2014