Heart Of The City - Franklin Institute Website Helps You Take Care Of Your Tickerty

February 12, 2018

February, despite often being cold and miserable, has a warm heart. It features Valentine’s Day — the holiday of love — and also it is American Heart Month.

The city in America with the biggest heart is Pennsylvania’s very own City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. This designation is not because the Eagles showed a lot of heart beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl last week. It’s because the city’s Franklin Institute has an exhibit that features a four-ton, 28-foot-wide model of a human heart that you can walk through.

The institute’s website has a section dedicated to the human heart at fi.edu/heart-engine-of-life. It’s a good place to learn about the organ that is so vital to life.

The site has the history and photos of the giant heart exhibit, but the section is mainly an educational resource on actual hearts. It explores the anatomy and function of the heart, blood, lungs and related structures and systems.

The information is presented in plain language that a layperson can easily understand. Photographs and illustrations help clarify the text. This is not a medical site where you would do deep research on your heart condition, but it gives good basic descriptions of the complex workings of the various circulatory systems in the body.

There also are articles on how to take care of your heart. There’s information on diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices that affect your heart’s health. Different heart-related conditions are covered, as well as diagnostic and treatment options available for heart problems. A heart trivia section lets you test your knowledge of what you’ve learned on the site.

Good photos, a nice color palette, solid typography and logical navigation combine to make a pleasant web browsing experience. The layout of the site is clean and contemporary. A large, close-up photo of the giant model heart forms a banner across the top of the main page. Below that is a grid of previews to the different sections. Each one features an image, a headline and a brief summary of what the section is about. Clicking on the preview takes you to the section pages.

The Franklin Institute was founded in 1824 in honor of Ben Franklin, one of America’s most industrious and interesting Founding Fathers. Its mission — inspiring passion for learning about science and technology — has been expanded from its brick and mortar location to a worldwide audience via its website. If you can’t make it to Philly, visit the website.

Kevin O’Neill is a staff artist for The Times-Tribune. Share your favorite websites and apps with him at koneill@timesshamrock.com.