My first thought on the article was: “Hey, I recognize this format!” Medium.com is a website for writers who pretty much use the exact same layout this particular story did, where they can creatively publish their own stories. The whole interactive experience thing’s been done before, but that is a thing that would make the NYT post memorable. It makes things more interesting, journalists finally taking advantage of being able to post via the internet. Readers get a chance to become more immersed into a story.
Another one would be the narrative introduction to the news story. It’s a fresh take on how we think that an article should sound or start off, hooking the reader into a story that much faster. However, writing it in such a purple prose sort of way made it seem a tad overdramatic, but it was different and that’s admirable.
Going back to the format/layout design, what I haven’t seen done before was the usage of virtual maps and storm grids that kind of made the danger the article was talking about more tangible and informational to the reader. Another memorable thing–it was long! The way they tried to break down the piece into sections separated by (again) the interactive bits helped make the piece a bit easier to digest, but its length was still quite noticeable.
Read “Snow Fall,” a New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/?forceredirect=yes#/?part=tunnel-creek