Perceptive Pixel’s Magic Wall played a central role in CNN’s rather exuberant coverage of President Barack Obama’s press conference last week on the occasion of his 100th day in office. The press conference was streamed on the White House’s YouTube channel, marking the first time the White House had ever livestreamed a news event. It is needless to reiterate the extent to which new technology and social media transformed the 2008 Presidential Election, but two of our National Design Award winners played a big part in how this unprecedented event was understood. Perhaps even more than its excellent print coverage of the 2008 election season, the New York Times Graphics Department provided innovative interactive maps online to digest the often overwhelming amount of information about the constantly shifting political map of the United States.

Credit: New York Times Graphics Staff

The Electoral Explorer in particular broke down pertinent information in relevant demographic chunks with an elegant interactive slidebar that made the political landscape immediately legible. And, of course, who can forget the seemingly ubiquitous presence of Perceptive Pixel’s multitouch interface on network television from the primaries through election night.

Photo: Perceptive Pixel

Quite a leap from Tim Russert’s dry-erase board on election night 2000. Let us not forget John King’s brilliant turn on the Daily Show, either.

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