The Making of Me and You

A personalised, interactive, never-before-seen look at your body. What it’s made of. What it’s produced. And how you can count it all.

BBC Earth

Project TypeExplainersWebsites
A graphic with a mane and woman in the centre of a circle. Around this circle, the image is split into four sections vertically, each a different colour. Each section is filled with illustrations and simplified data visualizations from throughout the Making of Me and You page. It includes a heart, lungs, cells, proportional area chart and lollipop chart amongst others.

BBC Earth asked us to show them what we were made of. Literally.

Ever wondered how many times you’ve blinked? How far your intestines could stretch? Or the amount of gas you’ve produced?

The BBC’s natural history brand wanted an interactive website that offered people a ‘data-driven look at their own bodies.

If readers shared their age, gender, height and weight, we could visualize their personalised data on a truly cellular level.

We did a deep dive into all the body-bits we thought made for interesting stories. For example, ’Body Shop’, which quantified the commercial value of our chemical makeup.

We found witty ways to dissect the data, like how many phone booths full of flatulence you’ve produced in a lifetime or how many matchsticks could be made with all the sulphur in your body.

The design’s modular structure meant the visualizations could shape-shift to work neatly on any device.

Subtle animations breathed life into our biology and we included elements of the BBC’s Global Experience Language (GEL) guidelines, ensuring the piece would transplant seamlessly into the overall site.

So if you've ever wondered how long your hair (or toenails) would have grown if left uncut since birth, look no further.

A circular area plot showing the different proportion of cells in our bodies. Red blood cells make up the vast majority at nearly 26.5 trillion cells. Way more than the three trillion trees on Earth.
A dumbell plot titled 'Ingredients of Me'. It shows the composition of the reader's body in base elements and the price tag they'd fetch for each one.
Screenshots of two visualiaions from The Making of Me and You website. It includes a proportional area chart of the weight of different parts of flesh and a tree diagram of the mobile version of the website which shows how many matches could be made from the elements that make up the average person.
Three screenshots of visualizations from the Making of Me and You page. The first shows the average person carries 100 trillion microbes. The second shows the record for the largest inflated lungs are 5.8 litres. And the final visualization shows how many times the reader's heart has beat in their lifetimes, in this case 1.5 billion.
Various line icons of different biological/scientific images including cells. atoms, DNA and a skull.
A page from The Making of Me and You website that shows the information tooltip that explains how each value was calculated and provides links to the full sources and methodology.
A page from The Making of Me and You page that shows a selection of summary stats. This user's includes 4.8 metres of head hair grown, 26.6kg of muscle and 7.5 octiollion atoms.

Get in

beyond words logo
Follow us
Find us
Beyond Words Studio UK 91 Brick Lane London, E1 6QL
Beyond Words Studio US Florida, USA
Beyond Words Studio EU Dublin, Ireland
Copyright Beyond Words Studio Ltd. 2024