I recently learned of the new web site for the 9/11 Memorial in New York – www.911memorial.org/.
One of the main uses of the site is the help people find names within the memorial. The interface is really well done – from the subtle, gently falling water on the page (and nothing else – less is more) to the way they’ve made it easy to find the names of the victims of that tragic day. Simply search for a name or browse the names as they are arranged (more on that below). Even browse names in a simulation of the engraved panels.
Navigation within the site is very simple, elegant and straightforward. Clicking on a name brings you to a nice photograph and brief biographical information of the person as well as where their name is located within the memorial. Windows and actions transition nicely with fades and wipes (done in HTML and thankfully not in Flash). Mobile applications will also be available.
In addition, way the names are arranged is extremely fascinating. They’re not just alphabetized as is the norm, but people are grouped based on their relationships. Very powerful and definitely outside-the-box.