Storyspace and Web project comparison

Storyspace is powerful, graceful and primitive all at once. Its greatest strength is its simplicity. But perhaps its biggest weakness — though some may find it a strength — is that it isn't especially intuitive to use. Even those familiar with Storyspace may find some projects confusing to navigate.

With that in mind, I set out to create a Storyspace project that was accessible yet also aesthetically pleasing. I imagined the map view first — a diagram of the softball field. After creating all the player profiles and game recaps, I connected all the lexias using links on each page. I created "Home" as an obvious starting point for the project.

Accessibility was key for the project. I wanted readers unfamiliar with Storyspace to be able to easily navigate the project. I wanted the pages to be uncluttered, to have a simple design.

But for my Web project, I wanted something more eye-catching. Turning the Storyspace project into an HTML project didn't seem to make that much sense. My Storyspace project was similar to a Web site already, so making an HTML version of it seemed redundant. So I opted to go for something with a more of wow factor.

I went to Vuvox, after seeing one of my friends design a collage on it. I opted for more of a slideshow instead. I created eight slides, one for each member of the team. On the left side of each slide is a picture of the team member. In the background is the profile I wrote about each player, scrolling at a pretty fast clip. It moves slowly enough so that readers can make out a sentence or phrase at a time, but it moves too quickly for them to read the piece as a whole. But readers also have the option of pausing the moving text if they wanted to read more of it.

The idea behind the Web project was to create something that fits into this relatively new attention-challenged Internet culture. I figured that people on the Internet wouldn't actually want to read complete profiles. So with the slideshow, readers had something to capture their attention for 15 to 30 seconds. They would see a picture of the player and then a key phrase from the text. Instead of reading a player's complete profile, they would get three or four snippets about the featured person.

Dylan commented that the Web project may not hold a person's attention for more than a few minutes because of the moving text. But readers do have the option of pausing it, so I don't think it's too ephemeral.

Instructions for reading my Storyspace project

I designed my project with the idea that readers would start from the Storyspace map view, where they would see a diagram of a softball field, with players in their respective positions, and with a lineup of games.

"Home" is the starting point. From there, you can click any of the player profiles or go to the game recaps. From each player profile, you can access another player's profile or head to a game recap. Each lexia is linked to several other ones; you can read them all without having to go home again. A good starting point is to click on "Game One." From there, you can read the game recaps in chronological order, while also accessing player profiles.

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Last modified 7 May 2008