Visual Design 2: Story-Face
Within the software's own internal logic, the visual interface presents itself as a "story-face", which basically conveys the idea that the interface also participates forcefully in the narrative. Besides providing visual and interactive unity, it frames narrative themes as well as highlights the narrative delivery system (ie, handheld mobile technology remediated as a desktop computer game). Separating the clickable field and the changeable text displays respectively, essentially creates a sense of these elements as occupying the foreground, with the rest of the non-reactive interface as the background; thus taking on board certain linguistic and dramatic models of representation.
In all, the visual design signals that the main character in the narrative is, all at once: the Fast City itself, as an urban organism; the piece of technology (PDA), that actively remediates and asserts its role in delivering the narrative; and the user/reader, constantly negotiating his or her own position in relation to the interface and the trigger-happy flow of micro-narratives. This pays broad tribute to certain elements of cyberpunk aesthetics: an obsession with the appearances of technology (PDA; console gaming elements); a dark, claustrophobic yet anonymous urban-scape (interface background); and a rising Asian consciousness (the Chinese ideograms, perhaps reminiscent of Hong Kong triad/action movies and gongfu comics).