Genders of Hyperlinks, 2013

tablet application

Genders of Hyperlinks is a research project that explores new reading experiences of the digital book. With the “death of the page”, digital publishing demands fresh ways of presenting content in a non-linear manner. The results of this research are shown as part of the MOTI Hotel exposition at Museum of the Image, Breda. The exhibition will run from September 28th, 2013 to June 1st, 2014.

Based on prior extensive research, Niels Schrader and Michał Ejdys have prototyped a software that from a given text renders a network of hyperlinks based on the semantics of individual sentences. A network of references that connects related pieces of information, and offers the reader the opportunity to instantly jump to other pieces of content.

The innovative potential of this project lies in discovering different types of relationships that related pieces of text might have. It led to identifying the following three genders of hyperlinks:

  1. content mirroring (that refer to the same topic)
  2. content enhancing (that present a related thought)
  3. content surpassing (that shifts the meaning of a given text fragment into a new context)

Every decision a reader makes when navigating through the non-linear book creates a personal, unique reading experience. The snippets and the genders of the hyperlinks, equip the reader with a compass to navigate the text and make conscious decisions to either continue the predetermined track of the author or deviate by enhancing or surpassing the current topic.

programming: Michał Ejdys

Genders of Hyperlinks presents a new, gesture-based user interface for digital reading. – All photos by Roel Backaert The genders are represented by different colours: content mirroring by purple, enhancing by blue and surpassing by pink. The screen is divided into three interactive areas: book content, paragraph navigation and snippets of hyperlinks. The sidebar on the right lists the connections to related content. Snippets preview the text the hyperlinks are pointing to and enable non-linear reading through clicking. Scrolling up and down, on the other hand, supports traditional linear reading. The bottom bar visualizes the current position in the book. It allows you to navigate back and forth to any chapter of the publication. Three checkboxes enable filtering by gender. The interface responds to rotating the tablet. Genders of Hyperlinks is on display until June 1st, 2014 in Museum of the Image, Breda. – Photo by Eline Baggen An arc diagram of all the semantic connections gives insight into the internal structure of the book. – Photo by Eline Baggen Genders of Hyperlinks is presented as a continuation of Maeda’s work. – Photo by Eline Baggen