I did the interface design and graphics for this experimental prototype BERG produced for the BBC. It’s a simple educational toy that “takes important places, events and things, and overlays them onto a map of where you are.” It’s now offline. As Matt Jones writes, BERG were tasked with “looking at new ways in which history could be explored and explained using digital media.” This started as a series of workshops which ended up with the prototype we can see today. Each ‘Dimension’ is simply an outline shape, at scale, of things like plans of ancient buildings, famous routes or the extent of natural disasters, which can be overlaid on a map anywhere in the world. You simply type in a zip or postcode to overlay the shape on top of a place you might be familiar with – the extra context helps you get a sense of ‘how big really’ things are. The idea designed itself, really, but I did a bit of basic art direction, UI design and print work to help get it into the world, working alongside the rest of the BERG crew and master developer Paul Mison (with a lovely cameo from the ever-brilliant Phil Gyford). The project was set up at the BBC by the awesome Max Gadney. Some Dimensions are walkable in scale… …the idea being that you can plot and print them, then go for a walk. One of the main success criteria of the prototype was that getting content into it had to be quick and easy – the idea being that fast-moving news graphics teams inside the BBC would be the ones updating it. I spent a lot of time with Paul setting up a super simple workflow, so that non-technical designers could export SVG files from Illustrator, upload them, add metadata, publish updates and so on. In design terms, I probably as much (if not more) time on this bit as I did doing the front end display stuff. Big up Keltie Cochrane who did the first batch of content creation for the launch version. The original prototype I worked on eventually turned into a live version on the BBC News website. It’s probably one of my favourite projects from my time at BERG – I think we managed to get pretty close to the sweet spot of making things that are culturally inventive, thoughtful and useful.