The Beauty of the Non-Linear Browse

Illustration by Joon Mo Kang

An interesting perspective (RANT) on the Future of Interactive Design from a former Apple User Interface designer.  Some very cool “potential technologies” on display in the video and pictures included in the post.  The author argues that the future of innovation should go beyond hands interacting with pictures under glass but should take into account the wonders of not just our hands but the graceful “ballet” our entire bodies perform almost thoughtlessly to interact with objects every day.  Innovate our bodies, our voices, our minds.

From a library perspective we’ve been thinking about the relationship between reading and technology instruction lately.  In the past, the library provided access to knowledge through books, we wouldn’t read the books for you but would available to show you  how to find them, open them and if you start bringing your children to the library early in life, we will demonstrate and teach important early-literacy skills.

Now enter new technology, new formats and new devices on which we input knowledge, take ebooks and ebook readers for example.  Now libraries find themselves in a position where not only do we help people find a book (ebook), we are one of the only places people can turn for instruction on how to use or interact with these new technologies.  How do I open this book, wait before I do that,  how do I get it off the shelf  (ie download and get the digital rights and transfer to my preferred reading device)?  Libraries are now playing a big role  in providing the digital literacy instruction needed to be a reader in an ever evolving technological climate.

Here’s a great article by author Lev Grossman about the evolution of reading technology from scroll to codex to ebook and the value and innovation of non-linear reading.  And then to lighten the conversation, a slapstick take (video) on the codex as a technological advancement over the scroll.

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