Target The Forward Fringe:

But when Apple announced the Retina MacBook Pro at WWDC, revamp­ing all of my apps and my web site jumped to the top of my list of priorities…

Why? Because HiDPI cus­tomers may be a fringe group, but they are a forward-facing fringe. They rep­re­sent the users of the future, and the more we cater to them now, the more deeply embed­ded our prod­ucts and designs will be in their cul­ture. The future culture.

Tap Left Margin -> Next Page; my favorite fea­ture of the iPad. This means I can com­fort­ably read while drink­ing tea and not worry about which hand holds my iPad.

The major­ity of the time I’m read­ing a book I just want to go for­ward. It always felt clumsy to swipe with my left thumb. Advancing with just a tap means the device never breaks my flow.

If dig­i­tal cov­ers as we know them are so ‘dead,’ why do we hold them so gin­gerly? Treat them like print cov­ers? We can’t hurt them. They’re dead. So let’s start hack­ing. Pull them apart, cut them into bits and see what we come up with.

This is an essay for book lovers and design­ers curi­ous about where the cover has been, where it’s going, and what the ethos of cov­ers means for dig­i­tal book design. It’s for those of us dis­sat­is­fied with thought­lessly trans­fer­ring print assets to dig­i­tal and clos­ing our eyes.

The cover as we know it really is — gasp — ‘dead.’ But it’s dead because the way we touch dig­i­tal books is dif­fer­ent than the way we touch phys­i­cal books. And once you acknowl­edge that, use­ful corol­lar­ies emerge.

Craig Mod — Hack the Cover.

Do our read­ing envi­ron­ments encour­age active read­ing? Or do they utterly oppose it? A typ­i­cal read­ing tool, such as a book or web­site, dis­plays the author’s argu­ment, and noth­ing else. The reader’s line of thought remains inter­nal and invis­i­ble, vague and spec­u­la­tive. We form ques­tions, but can’t answer them. We con­sider alter­na­tives, but can’t explore them. We ques­tion assump­tions, but can’t ver­ify them. And so, in the end, we blindly trust, or blindly don’t, and we miss the deep under­stand­ing that comes from dia­logue and exploration.

Explorable Explanations is my umbrella project for ideas that enable and encour­age truly active read­ing. The goal is to change people’s rela­tion­ship with text. People cur­rently think of text as infor­ma­tion to be con­sumed. I want text to be used as an envi­ron­ment to think in.

Bret Victor - Explorable Explanations.

We need to rein­vent the arti­cle. Sean Blanda illus­trates that it’s time to rethink not just the arti­cle but how infor­ma­tion is pub­lished on the web. I agree. My favorite nar­ra­tives are those that answer long, wind­ing ques­tions by telling a story. They are more akin to a short book than a news story. This recent New Yorker piece is 50 pages and over 20,000 words when I drop it in to Pages.app. I loved that arti­cle, but default­ing to the same men­tal model and design pre­sen­ta­tion for a few hun­dred word piece about NFL draft trades is ludicrous.

It’s your job as a designer, and a com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­fes­sional, to find the right lan­guage to com­mu­ni­cate with your client. When you say a client doesn’t “get it” you might as well be say­ing, “I couldn’t fig­ure out how to get my point across. I am a lazy designer. Please take all my clients from me.”

Remember, a small job for you is not nec­es­sar­ily a small job for the client.

Mike Monteiro — Design Is a Job.