About Vignette

Vignette is an open source project investigating new ways of encouraging narrative creation from personal media. Vignette will be exploring data-driven methods for managing large quantities of photos and videos, visualizations that highlight the importance of place in narrative, and interfaces that engage users conversationally and emotionally.

In addition to releasing source code and final products, it is the intent of Vignette to develop and discuss as transparently as possible. To this end, the development blog provides updates on current research and prototypes.


Vignette is a project of Logan Williams, a 2016-2017 fellow at the BuzzFeed Open Lab, with previous experience at Apple and MIT.

Initial thoughts on photo-narrative creation

In 2014, carrying maps marked with waypoints and a backpack laden with supplies, I embarked upon a long distance solo hike through rural Turkey. It did not go as planned, and I spent days grappling with questions of loneliness and purpose arisen from just under the surface of the everyday routine. After chancing upon new faces and walking away from my isolation, I was scrolling through photos on my camera’s LCD and jotting down observations and realizations, when I began to feel that there might be a structure to the experience that I had not seen while enveloped within it. The ensuing process of extracting a narrative from my images, frustrations and feelings, shaping something coherent from it, and sharing this story proved immensely cathartic. This catharsis was not short lived. It helped me understand that the photographs I’ve taken are more than a jumble of prints in a shoebox — they are a story captured in slices, and the composition of these fragments allows me to share that story with others.