Welcome to the all-new Projects that Inspire column. In light of significant changes on the web landscape over the last couple of years, my column has shifted to focus less on the specific technology used and more on the inspirational results achieved.
In each issue, I will round up noteworthy digital projects, regardless of what technology they were built with or what platform or device they run on. In this column, I aim to highlight stellar projects that will inspire your own great ideas and projects in the future.
I start this new column with ten amazing projects.
We've all seen those scrolling HTML5 sites. In fact that style is fast becoming the most stale type of web design of the moment. However, this site for a trade-not-aid product line from Denmark is really pushing the possibilities of design and transitions with HTML5, showing us some of the most advanced creative to date. This site also works nicely on iPad, and it will definitely benefit from the enhancements in the new iPad.
Showing off some great cross-platform work, this project (Llévalos a la escuela) starts on your desktop browser as a Flash technology website and finishes on your mobile device. This UNICEF project aims to help children get into school. By downloading the app and placing your phone near the allotted spot on the desktop site, you encourage a child to move ahead in the queue. If you do it correctly, a child will take a big step forward in his/her life.
This experimental research and development project really gives you a glimpse into the future. By embracing the latest technologies, participants wear a headset and control a slot car with the power of their mind. By concentrating, they can control the speed of the car, and by blinking, they can make the car go faster. This is a perfect example of how a fun experimental project can pave the way for more amazing projects in the future.
It's rare these days to see a type of navigation that you haven't experienced before. This interactive movie gets huge acclaim for doing something new. As you join the story, you get to move from scene to scene by dragging the cursor 90 degrees. You'll then see the person onscreen literally break through into another scene. It's a simple idea I have not seen before, and it is perfectly executed.
It is incredible that every second of the day one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube. This delightful site boasts plenty of personality, great animations, and impressive ways of visualizing the incredible stats. Use your mouse wheel to scroll up or down, and see a mass of animated delights.
Video demo: www.thefwa.com/shortlist/real-virtuality-by-moto-waganari
Project by: OgilvyOne Frankfurt
Here's your chance to experience the untouchable. Using WebGL, this online exhibition lets you touch, manipulate, and play with sculptures. You can experience the sculptures both online and offline, directly via the website as you switch between virtuality and the reality of an authentic London gallery.
Mobile optimized: www.sobe.com
Project by: Firstborn & SoBe
This site showcases exquisite design and development over desktop and mobile. With scrolling, up, down, and side to side, this is the shape of things to come, and it's one of those new sites that you'll be right-clicking with your mouse to see if it was made with Flash. It wasn't. This site offers everything the best Flash sites of the past delivered, but it also works over multiple devices without the need for a plug-in. This is a great example of what everyone has been talking about for the last couple of years — and it's finally beginning to make sense.
Project by: Saatchi & Saatchi (LA) & Resn
This is another product site that has been created with cross-platform compatibility in mind, and it works very well over desktops and tablets. The desktop version enhances the excellent video options in Flash while the iPad version intelligently uses alternate ways of displaying the content. The site itself is a collection of moments created by car owners across the United States.
Project by: Sid Lee & Stopp
One of the most fascinating things about this site is that it is made in WebGL and has a fallback page to a Flash version if you don't have a WebGL-enabled browser. The WebGL version does deliver some amazing movement in the browser as you get to completely explore the latest and most cutting-edge football boot to date. I believe the creators of this site wanted to use the latest cutting-edge technology to match the cutting-edge ethos of the shoe.
Project by: Flëve Design Consultancy
I'll finish up with an incredibly talented artist. With seven galleries to explore, this simple site uses full-screen images to make a huge impact. I was completely in awe of the work on display — it's unique and completely original.
I'm excited to be able to bring you such a diverse range of projects now via Inspire. This is truly one of the most exciting times in our interactive world with so many different opportunities. None of us knows where they will lead, but projects like those in this article will one day be seen as the pioneers.
Rob Ford founded The FWA Network in May 2000. Since then, the network has received more than 150 million visits. The FWA Network showcases projects that use cutting-edge technology for desktop, mobile, and offline experiences, together with showcases for photography as well as video. Rob is also the author of three best-selling books on web and mobile. Check out The FWA Network.