Visual Design 1: Lexia Field

The Fast City interface is a stylised montage of familiar interactive interfaces and conventions, from desktop to gaming consoles to automated teller machines (ATM) to handheld computing devices. The text elements of the software are displayed within the screen of a personal digital assistant device, and this serves as a metaphor for the heavily mediated experience of living in the Fast City; as well as the ironic paucity of richness that the most "cutting edge" of technologies often imposes.

In addition, it problematises narratives in a world where both fiction and news are similarly remediated through a PDA. While itself anonymous, stark and minimalistic, the interface unleashes an array of fantastic micro-narratives taking place around the Fast City and sets up the user to imagine these characters and situations as living on the other side of the interface; like Alice contemplating what lies on the other side of the looking glass.

The layout concentrates the lexia-triggers in a contorted grid, a hotbed of links perhaps similar to what the creators of HyperCafe call "spatial link opportunities" (Landow 214). The multi-linear reading possibilities are conflated into a lexia field that also functions as a site map, an attempt at minimalist efficiency that forces the user to "dive right in" and not waste time calculating potential returns from following different hidden trails. [>]


Landow, George P.. Hypertext 2.0: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.