New York architect Candy Chan noted that there was no 3D representation of NYC’s subway stations available, and rather than curse the darkness, she got busy creating these terrific x-ray maps.
Here’s some geo-targeted content I can get behind: Vox cooked up an animated sneak peek of the August 21 solar eclipse in your neck of the woods. It also tells you how far you’ll need to drive to see the total eclipse.
Vox’s video explainer on eclipses is top-notch, too.
I have a strong aversion to the “myThing” school of Web sites and apps, but I like the hot exploded action in this myLowes spot:
A couple weeks ago, I went to post something here and found the chilling white screen of death – no blog, no admin dashboard, just the sound of wind whistling through the PHP. Many thanks to Steven D. and David H. at Dreamhost for helping me resurrect the site. The crash wasn’t their fault (it was the tragic final act of an aging WordPress theme), but the always terrific Dreamhost crew came to the rescue anyway.
Making a help request, I noticed a nice bit of explaining:
With the range of expertise among their customers, I bet over-explaining (starting off too rudimentary) would be just as big a risk as under-explaining. What a clever solution.
My job title these days is content strategist, and one of the consequences of that is I often have to explain what I do and why it matters. In the interest of honing my own spiel, I’ve read and collected many other spiels. This take on the subject, excerpted from the new book The Elements of Content Strategy, is my favorite to date.
Here’s a taste:
Let us meditate for a moment on James Bond. Clever and tough as he is, he’d be mincemeat a hundred times over if not for the hyper-competent support team that stands behind him. When he needs to chase a villain, the team summons an Aston Martin DB5. When he’s poisoned by a beautiful woman with dubious connections, the team offers the antidote in a spring-loaded, space-age infusion device. When he emerges from a swamp overrun with trained alligators, it offers a shower, a shave, and a perfectly tailored suit. It does not talk down to him or waste his time. It anticipates his needs, but does not offer him everything he might ever need, all the time.
Content is appropriate for users when it helps them accomplish their goals.
Content is perfectly appropriate for users when it makes them feel like geniuses on critically important missions, offering them precisely what they need, exactly when they need it, and in just the right form. All of this requires that you get pretty deeply into your users’ heads, if not their tailoring specifications.
Can’t wait to read the whole book.
Das ist gut. In this video from an interactive art installation, Henning M. Lederer animates Fritz Kahn’s 1927 poster “Der Mensch als Industriepalast” (Man as an Industrial Palace).
Kahn, a former gynecologist, ran with the man-as-machine analogy like nobody else. That analogy has some problems, of course, but it makes a good foundation for beginners learning about human anatomy (you know, for kids).