The Archive is a Camp­site:

Search is an inter­face for access­ing the archive, just as the front page is an inter­face for access­ing the news. The archivist’s task is to build an inter­face that offers a bet­ter expe­ri­ence than search.

Such a great arti­cle about archives and their poten­tial for high­light­ing the ongo­ing value of writ­ing. I appre­ci­ate the empha­sis it places on human touch. Some­one once told me that, “Great con­tent doesn’t scale. You always need some­one to have their hands on it.”

Plat­form­ing Books:

I strongly believe dig­i­tal books ben­e­fit from pub­lic end­points. The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of read­ers (human, not elec­tronic) have formed expec­ta­tions about shar­ing text, and if you obstruct their abil­ity to share — to touch — dig­i­tal text, then your con­tent is as good as non-existent. Or, in the least, it’s less likely to be engaged.

Word. Art Space Tokyo is a gor­geous site and I bet will drive a lot of dig­i­tal sales, in addi­tion to readers.

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.

My favorite iPad feature

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.

Hack the Cover

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.

Explorable Explanations

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.