Google’s technology incubator Jigsaw and The Washington Post has officially launched the Sideways Dictionary, an online glossary for technology terms that uses relatable analogies instead of descriptions.
The launch was announced by Yasmin Green, director of research and development at Jigsaw, as part of her keynote speech at South by Southwest festival in Texas. The initiative is explained via an animation written and directed by Google Creative Lab, and animated by NoMint, which divulges the project’s motivations and how to use it.
Sideways Dictionary hopes to demystify tech jargon for non-tech-savvy people, by translating common terms, for example ‘encryption’, into real-life examples, such as “it’s like sending a sealed letter instead of a postcard”. The platform is crowd-sourced, inviting users to submit their own analogies to the dictionary and vote for their favourite descriptions.
The tool has already been embedded on The Washington Post’s website (see how the term “hacking” is defined) to show how it could be used editorially, and there is Chrome extension already available that finds terms to explain within the page you’re reading.
Jigsaw is part of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and develops technology to “tackle geopolitical problems”.
- Dressed in Black: the resolute book covers of the Spektrum series
- Dima Shriyeav’s textured poster designs incorporate hand-drawn and digital elements
- Hai-Hsin Huang’s detailed and delicate illustrations present “the lightness of being”
- Laurent Eisler draws playful figures in “precariously balanced compositions”
- Small Gods magazine explores “anomalies of the drone”
- Adam Wells animates Love and Radio’s Dan Deacon interview through obtuse vignettes
- Fashion photographer Miles Aldridge shoots the cast of Game of Thrones for Time Magazine
- The Netherlands’ royal crest changes gender for national women’s football team kit by Nike
- Peek inside erotic magazine Odiseo’s very NSFW tenth issue
- Rick and Morty’s Exquisite Corpse trailer features 22 animators including Simon Landrein and Bendik Kaltenborn
- Design director, Gail Bichler, on The New York Times Magazine typography exhibition
- Mark Shaw captures the glamour of haute couture runways from the 1950s