When the reader views a node, they are looking at
both the contents of that node, and the way in which those contents
are presented. The latter is usually referred to as the UI, or User
Interface. Software reviewers, advertisers, and lawyers also use the
phrase "look and feel," a rather vague term covering the entire
user/software interaction process.
The contents of the node include such factors as typeface,
point size, and ink colour. The UI includes page size, headers and other
structural conventions. On a computer screen, such attributes are bound
to the underlying structural paradigm. For
example, a card-based hypertext will not allow scrolling of text or
multiple windows per screen.
Interface considerations for hyperbooks include:
- window header and footer information--what should be included?
- window colour--what information (if any) should this convey?
- window border
- window size
- customization--which features are set by the system, the author,
UI options become greater when considering what happens
when a link is traversed. There are three main choices:
- Paging: the new node completely replaces the old.
- Tiling: the new node appears elsewhere on the screen in some
designated fashion. For instance, Bush's Memex
had two screens so that the second node could appear alongside the
- Windowing: the new node overlaps the old so that the relationship
between the two is implicitly illustrated.
These three display options lead to a great variety of user interfaces.
As an example, imagine we have a monitor large enough that it can be
divided into quadrants, each displaying a node. When a new node is displayed
it replaces the oldest currently visible. The windows would not be resizable
or movable. This simple interface would suffice to present a great deal
of contextual information efficiently.