I have been spending time on two different Web sites this week, and they couldn’t be more different. They couldn’t be further apart in terms of usability, utility, and usefulness, which is why they make great fodder for this column.
The two sites are chicagocrime.org and arclightcinemas.com. The former is a creation of Web programmer Adrian Holovaty and Web designer Wilson Miner. It shows you crime statistics for the city of Chicago in a beautiful visual interface, and allows anyone to slice and dice the data in such a way as to show you block by block where various crimes occurred. It is a marvel in efficiency, usability, and style.
I was immediately drawn into the site and spent much time there, even though I have never lived in Chicago and don’t really know much about the city’s neighborhoods. But after looking at the crime stats, I can tell you there are places that I would prefer and places that I would avoid.
Read on in David’s column.