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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Subway Reads

Winner in Books & News

Audience Honor in Books & News


The aim of New York City's annual Subway Reads campaign—to offer free reading material to commuters while also raising funds to promote literacy—is one ATTCK takes to heart. Due to the unique demands of use on the subway, the project demanded an intuitive user interface and lightning-fast speed.

Strategy and Execution

Subway Reads presented numerous technical challenges. Since the tunnels between NYC subway stations don't offer Wi-Fi access, the website for Subway Reads needed to load instantly, allowing users to download books before their train takes off. We employed a high-performance, optimized installation of WordPress to quickly serve heavily compressed images, scripts, styles, and HTML markup. The reduce load time even further, we avoided third-party JavaScript frameworks altogether.

Using technologies like local storage and cache manifest—just a couple of the different JavaScript and web browser technologies used for this purpose—we produced a progressive web app, or PWA, that loads nearly immediately and downloads itself to users' devices. Once downloaded, the app can be accessed online and still maintain functionality. Once you've got it, you've got it anytime.

Last, publishers provided content in a variety of formats that ultimately had to be unified. Through a combination of automated and manual processes, we transformed all of the books into clean, semantic HTML.


We tested for high-traffic expectations by independently load-testing the site to ensure support for up to a million users—50,000 of them concurrent at any given time. And we passed with flying colors, scoring a perfect 100 on Google's benchmark PageSpeed Insights test.

Since the launch of the campaign, the site has drawn approximately:

• 544,000 pageviews
• 305,000 sessions
• 167,000 users


Video for Subway Reads

Entrant Company / Organization Name

ATTCK, Literacy Partners


Entry Credits