Developing Key Concepts for the Design of Hypertext for Printed Books

By Claire Timpany.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the modern world, computers and interactivity are becoming an ever-increasing phenomenon, but this means that the tactile appeal of the printed book is giving way to the increasing popularity of digital interactivity. This research explores how one of the integral concepts of computer interaction, hypertext, can be applied to the medium of print and the advantages that this can bring to the reading environment. The interaction used to read a printed book is different to that of reading material in an electronic form. Books are linear, moving forward, whereas electronic material is laterally associative. However, reading material in an electronic form, such as hypertext, allows the readers to customise and reorder knowledge for their own needs. In comparison, navigation of paper documents is aided by the information being fixed, and readers can easily refer to several documents simultaneously. The considerations that need to be made when combining the benefits of two such contrasting media needs careful attention. Six key design concepts applying hypertext methods to books are discussed to assist the production of effective reading media.

Keywords: Non-linear Reading, Hypertext, Non-fiction, Book Design

International Journal of the Book, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.139-154. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.231MB).

Claire Timpany

Lecturer, Computer Graphic Design, Department of Computer Science, School of Computing and Mathematical Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Claire completed her Masters in Computer Graphic Design at Wanganui School of Design, New Zealand. She is currently a lecturer in Computer Graphic Design at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, teaching both print and screen based papers. Claire’s main areas of interest and research are typography, print design and physical interaction design. Because of her love for both printed books and interactivity this is where her research interests lie. Her research is currently focussed on the way in which people interact with printed material and how the benefits of electronic media can be applied to traditional media, such as print, to aid it in developing and become more beneficial and keeping up with the digital age.


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