An interactive I super love

Web interactives are an area with so much potential, that it can sometimes feel frustrating to work in because we’re still in the early days of figuring out what makes one good.

Anyway a colleague pointed out this excellent interactive to me the other day: the Parable of the Polygons by Nicky Case and Vi Hart. It’s new to me, but dates from a couple of years ago, 2014.

The code is all javascript with html canvas used for the animations and iframes used to drop in the interactive sections. Here if you’re interested

What do I like about it?

  1. It tackles something difficult and important - segregation and how it happens.

  2. It has a strong intellectual underpinning, at its core it works on a theory by Thomas Schelling and the mathematical relationship he used to describe segregation.

  3. It makes the complex thing really simple and easy to access.

  4. It has a “ooh” moment, as you sort triangles and squares into different areas you catch yourself doing something that you didn’t realise you were - segregating polygons.

  5. The pacing and feedback are also great and mean that you could just look at the first part and learn something new.

  6. Beautifully executed - the design is great, the writing is great, the playability is just drag and drop, but very pleasant in a Candy Crush kind of way.

  7. The animations really reinforce the meaning of what you’re doing.

This is something that couldn’t be a video or an article.

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