An interactive web platform for Herzl's book 'Altneuland'
An interactive interpretation of Herzl's book comparing his vision with the reality in Israel today using realtime data from the web.
Altneuland is a utopian novel written by Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, in1902. The novel tells the story of Friedrich's and Kingscourt's imaginary visit to Palestine, and they learn about the new society established in Palestine. Through the story, the reader is exposed to Herzl's vision.
The project's goal is to present the book and the vision in an accessible and relevant manner.
SKILLS IN USE
Final Project at Shenkar College, 2019.
Watch the project with explanation
Understanding the user
This is Naomi, she is 18 years old, from Jerusalem, Israel. She recently graduated from high school, and now she is in 'Mechine' - Israeli educational program that prepares high school graduates for the army. Naomi does not read a lot of books but enjoys learning about new things and is interested in social and political issues. She volunteers with disadvantaged youths during her 'Mechine' year and has special interest in education.
Learn about Herzl's vision
Learn about the reality in Israel today
Read the book
Read highlighted paragraphs
Compare the book to present reality
Research cultural issues
Struggle Staying focused
Lack of knowledge
Hard to relate
Detailed reading and research were necessary to build this intricate platform. I selected important paragraphs and sentences that emphasize Hertzl's vision and mapped the content of the story.
The design challenge
Make the book accessible and easy to read without belittling the original text
Emphasize the relevance of Herzl's vision
Different kinds of navigation
Clear data visualization
Comparing the book to present reality
Use relevant and interesting data
Embed data from different apps (APIs)
Use flexible templets
The Product - a web platform
Explore the book
I decided to highlight ten paragraphs from each of the four chapters. The highlighted paragraphs together form a picture of Hertzl's vision and relate to different topics mentioned in the book.
Scroll between the highlighted paragraphs, and follow your progress throughout the book on the timeline. Each highlighted paragraph has tags: the topic, the location, and the characters mentioned.
This layer compares the book to present reality, it moves forward and covers the text, showing online data from the web in real-time.
A deeper reading of the book is possible.
Ways to explore & navigate
Using different types of navigation is important in this project, this allows the reader to reach the content that most interests him.
I used tags for subjects, locations, and characters to create different types of navigations. Each navigation contains data visualization that was designed to suit the content.
I divided the content into 8 main topics: religion, society, regime, settlement, trade & economics, technology, culture, and security.
Each line represents a paragraph in the book. You can explore the different topics according to your own personal interests and navigate to the relevant paragraph in the book.
I used Map Box Studio to design the map for this project. I added the 'point of interest' that was mentioned in the book and the character's journey. You can read about each place that was mention in the book, view the journey, and navigate to the relevant paragraph in the book.
I mapped the connection between all the characters in the book.
You can read about each character, view her connections to other characters, and filter by religion and gender. You can also navigate to the part in the book that the character is mentioned.
I used real-time data from different platforms to reflect the reality in Israel today and created different templets to showcase each one of them on the website.
The platform I chose includes social media apps and news channels. They both appeal to young users contain interesting and up to date information that tells the story in an unusual manner. The use of real-time data assures the website will be relevant for years to come.