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Hyperbook Authoring Tasks

The author of a hyperbook must be much more than just a writer. If a writer can be said to create text, a hyperbook author must also design the presentation of that text and choose the overall interface (within the system parameters). Creating a hyperbook can also involve the author in areas usually the purview of other professions: graphics and programming.

With all of these concerns, it is not surprising that the results of many novice hyperbook authors are uneven at best. In "Assessing the Quality of Hypertext Documents," Brown lists some of the faults he found when refereeing student works authored in Guide. Potential authors would do well to keep these in mind:

  • poor local visual design
  • lack of consistency in visual design
  • poor use of interface elements
  • lack of exploitation of hypertext abilities
  • flashy use of interface elements for effect
  • poor writing
  • lack of concern for context--nodes designed to be read in one path read badly in another
  • lack of concern for future document maintenance
  • design that relied on one setting of a configuration that readers might change (eg. designing text for only one window width)