Responses by Visual Dialogue
Background: DiscoverUSQ.com introduces the fifteen-acre revitalization plan for Union Square in Somerville, Massachusetts. Despite its proximity to downtown Boston and the burgeoning Kendall Square/MIT area, this neighborhood has been disadvantaged by its lack of convenient public transportation. A new transit station, along with 2.4 million square feet of office and labs, housing, green space and retail are in development. The website highlights the opportunity for both commercial and residential tenants.
Highlights: The logo and grid layout are inspired by the Union Square name. This flexible grid structure allows for a mix of video, copy and imagery, which combine to capture the vibrancy of the area. Interactive maps highlight the neighborhood and the development plan, while an easy-to-navigate timeline shows the progress of the project.
Challenges: Balancing an overview of the real estate development vision with capturing what already makes the neighborhood a great place to live, work and play.
Favorite details: We played off the Q of our USQ logo and created question-and-answer videos featuring people who currently live and work in Union Square. I think their real enthusiasm for this community comes through in the interview videos shot by Lee Hopkins from OLP Creative—who also happens to live and work in the area.
Technical features: We really like the “hover-able” pins on the map in the Vision section under Discover. It adds a lot of detail to the map and is responsive to various screen widths.
Anything new: Since the page load speed and map interaction were slow when we relied on querying the Google Maps API for place locations, we learned about making a local file-based list of place latitudes and longitudes, which served as a local database. This reduced all map delay and saved many unnecessary calls to Google’s server.