Future Tense

This Website Is a Rube Goldberg Machine Made of HTML Components


To differentiate a Rube Goldberg machine these days, it usually needs to be big and flashy. You have to set something on fire. But the beauty of this digital Rube Goldberg by Sebastian Ly Serena is its subtle humor. You set it off and it very quietly races toward a satisfying conclusion.

The cascade happens within HTML components that are usually used in forms—check boxes, dropdown menus, sliders, text fields. With one click you start a chain of blue checks that eventually leads to a button for emailing Serena. The forward momentum feels real.

As BoingBoing points out, some commenters on Hacker News criticized the project because the code that underlies it doesn’t mirror a cascade effect in itself. Commenter tonyle said, “This is really cool, though I really wish I didn’t look at the source code.”

So maybe just take this Rube Goldberg machine at face value. It’s a pretty clever way to give people your contact information.