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How Do

S.T.E.M subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are so important to our world and how we live. But they can be inaccessible and difficult to grasp. I wanted to make them accessible to anyone to help increase the representation across genders and backgrounds.

When I was a kid, I remember reading books that explained how things worked by cutting through the middle of them. Taking my inspiration from them, I set about exploring if there was a need I could meet with this project.

I’m driving everything on this project which is fun but also daunting. I have managed to get some help with the illustration and getting my content reviewed. I’m lucky to have some very talented friends.

Making S.T.E.M accessible

My goal is to explain S.T.E.M in an easy to understand way making information accessible and hopefully encourage people to explore an interest in S.T.E.M.

I am working towards building an education site similar to Wikipedia. But where Wikipedia contains complex ideas and content, How Do takes complex information and simplifies the language so that people with a reading age of 8 and above can understand the concepts. I also enhance the information with images and illustrations.

The project is considerable and I am working on it mostly by myself. With limited resources and time, I have focused on a few areas:

  • gaining an understanding of how to structure the content
  • building a working site so I can further research my ideas
  • explore how to build a community around the project
  • putting together the beginnings of a brand

I have published two pages, have two more in draft that I am currently working on and have six ideas in my backlog. I have all this in a public backlog that currently sits in GitHub. Community is important to increasing the speed of creating new content.

The site is working well and there are plans in place to improve it’s accessibility. An important value of the project is making sure everyone, whatever their ability or access to technology, can access the information.

Design iterations and branding

The design has gone through a few iterations. I wanted to break up information so users took in small sections of content at a time. I used a javascript library called fullpage to imitate turning pages in a book. I felt uneasy about it because it jacks the scrolling and uses javascript. After some research, I removed the javascript and replaced it with longer sections with plenty of spacing between each content block. This slowed the user down without jacking the scrolling and has been working really well.

Doing some work on the brand has been a lot of fun. I used Google Ventures Brand sprint to put some focused thought into why How Do exists and the values behind it. The brand will evolve over time but it is good to have a starting place.

See How Do
A screenshot of the homepage of How Do
An illustration from my article on How websites work
A screenshot of the homepage of How Do A screenshot of the homepage of How Do
A screenshot of the homepage of How Do