The concept is that the row of cryptic-but-compact icons is smoothly turned into a fully-explanatory list. The disadvantage of this particular format is the requirement to fit the explanatory material into two varying-size areas; a less-cute alternative would be to have it rotated 90 degrees so that each icon is the “left end” of revealed text.
I have no idea if anyone's done anything like this before. If you want to use this idea, go ahead. Credit would be appreciated but is not required.
Note: This is the first time I have ever used jQuery. Don't assume the code is good style.