Jigsaw & Washington Post


Development, UI, Concept

Google Jigsaw - A tool to explain technology

When we don’t understand technology terms, it can be hard to make informed decisions. So we made a dictionary to help everyone understand what’s going on.

The internet gave us a lot of interesting opportunities, but it also gave us a lot of new words: Phishing, Troll, Net Neutrality, Machine Learning, Blockchain etc. It can be hard to keep up, so we partnered with Jigsaw and Washington Post to make difficult tech terms easier to understand. The result is Sideways Dictionary - a tool for finding and sharing helpful analogies to explain technological terms. So if you’re unsure of the meaning of a phrase like "two factor authentication" you can hover over the phrase and get an analogy that explains that it is a security measure a bit "like a child safety lid" and that "a child may be able to press the lid down and twist it, but won't know that you have to do both at the same time."

With Sideways Dictionary and its companion Chrome extension, we are helping to foster better understanding of technology. It starts with basic fluency because you can't make informed decisions or protect yourself against a “phishing attack” if you don't know what that means.


Based on tech references, and stripped of unnecessary visual effects, the end result is a simplistic website focused around the search indicator and the terms.


The name, Sideways Dictionary, was inspired by the motion concept of moving sideways between the terms and analogies.


The video that explains the essence of Sideways Dictionary was created by the Google Creative Lab to promote the website.


We also created a Chrome extension, that gives you the power of analogies wherever you browse.

Project awarded:


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