Browsing for information is a significant part of most research activity, but many online collections hamper browsing with interfaces that are variants on a search box. Research shows that rich-prospect interfaces can offer an intuitive and highly flexible alternative environment for information browsing, assisting hypothesis formation and pattern-finding. This unique book offers a clear discussion of this form of interface design, including a theoretical basis for why it is important, and examples of how it can be done. It will be of interest to those working in the fields of library and information science, human-computer interaction, visual communication design, and the digital humanities as well as those interested in new theories and practices for designing web interfaces for library collections, digitized cultural heritage materials, and other types of digital collections.
'This study challenges creators, curators, and consumers of cultural materials online to ponder the intersection of information design with interface design and consider its impact on how we know and use a collection. In contending that an interface constitutes an argument about the meaning of the materials to which it provides access, the authors explore pressing questions about how signification works within a digital environment in which linear textual reading is no longer the paradigmatic activity in the pursuit of cultural knowledge. They present a compelling case for understanding visual design as integral to developing successful digital representations of cultural knowledge'. Susan Brown, University of Guelph, Canada 'Visual Interface Design is highly recommended for academic libraries especially those with a bias towards Humanities Computing.' Managing Information 'Certainly this is a book to be read by those embarking or seeking to improve a digital cultural heritage project, but this scholarly work well deserves to be read by a much wider audience. This work should be on the bookshelf of all who design software for whatever purpose, not just digital cultural heritage and rich-prospect browsers.' Library and Information Research 'The volume is a splendid example of a team of humanities scholars exploring a particular theory by building prototype tools and discussing the results of using those tools… Theory and application blend together nicely throughout the volume. It is clear that the authors would like readers to test out their theories on their own cultural heritage collections, and the text provides ample information to do that… The text is thus a useful starting point for thinking about how to think about digitally presenting a collection of cultural heritage artifacts.' Literary and Linguistic Computing
Contents: Introduction to rich-prospect interfaces; I see what I can do: affordances of prospect; Is this thing working? The study of new affordances; I never forget a face: meaningful and useful representation of items; Textual markup for digital collections; The design of new interface tools; Conclusions; References; Index.
Digital technologies are increasingly important to arts and humanities research, expanding the horizons of research methods in all aspects of data capture, investigation, analysis, modelling, presentation and dissemination. This series, one of the first and most highly regarded in the field, covers a wide range of disciplines and provides an authoritative reflection of the 'state of the art' in the application of computing and technology. The titles in this peer-reviewed series are critical reading not just for experts in digital humanities and technology issues, but for all scholars working in arts and humanities who need to understand the issues around digital research.