|Article Description: This thinking about e-book design stems from a recent experience and discussion of usage. Accustomed to the Kindle Physics key flip-screen reading, the Kindle touch of the screen operation is very unaccustomed (contact evoked), or even startled! Do not like E-books, in addition to not be free to write painting, the bigger problem is that e-books can not give the same experience as traditional books, imagine a hand-held book,
Amazon has finally started selling its Kindle paperwhite e-book reader at home, and now a variety of electronic reading devices and smartphones make e-books popular. Although also known as books, but the difference between e-books and paper books is very large, not only because the content of the digital and portable, the biggest difference is the change in reading habits! And this, it seems that all kinds of devices or platforms of e-books, are taking various means to avoid, the performance of the E-book page and its effect.
This thinking about e-book design stems from a recent experience and discussion of usage. Accustomed to the Kindle Physics key flip-screen reading, the Kindle touch of the screen operation is very unaccustomed (contact evoked), or even startled! Do not like E-books, in addition to not be free to write a painting, the bigger problem is that e-books can not give the same experience as traditional books, think of a hand-held book, the page in another hand under the thumb quickly turned over the feeling, this is the lack of e-books! Although this kind of quick browsing is not the main way of reading, it is more suitable to understand the book's general content or lookup, but for e-books, this difference is not only the lack of control sense!
Comparison of E-books with paper books
Today's book form of stereotypes, with the content of the carrier and printing methods related, but also gradually affect and solidify today's reading habits. In terms of its form analysis, there are several characteristics:
Have the physical characteristics such as size and thickness, provide the basic visual clues of content and reading progress;
When reading, the binding side provides the basic fixed fulcrum, the other side is used to flip the reading focus;
Two-sided printing, can be seen as a sequential horizontally arranged on both sides have content of the card set.
Through the above features to compare the ebook:
Lack of thickness physical properties, although there is reading progress information, but different books on the progress bar on the content of how much contrast. Although some have screen (page) number, but as an abstract concept, need to put extra cognitive effort to imagine the contrast;
Theoretically there is no fixed binding side, but from the electronic screen display inherits over the longitudinal order arrangement habits;
Single-sided display, theoretically vertical infinite extension, but limited by the screen, can be understood as a vertically arranged single-sided card set.
The 3rd of the most significant differences is to analyze the design of e-books from the perspective of design metaphors and explain why flipping pages is a bad concept for e-books.
Why is it bad to flip e-books?
Metaphor (metaphor, metaphor) is originally a linguistic concept, as a rhetorical means, not only for literary expression, but also to promote understanding, especially for unfamiliar or abstract concepts! The most natural way we can understand it is through metaphor, using familiar things to help us understand unfamiliar and complex concepts. Our knowledge system of the world is also constructed and expanded by metaphor. Metaphor is related to our cognitive and thinking activities (Saffer, 2005).
In linguistics, metaphors are generally meant to help understand. In design, the role of metaphor is broadened to facilitate the understanding of abstract concepts (such as the graphical interface of computer operating systems as desktop), and the metaphor is also expected to help the operation migrate. Our knowledge system consists of two parts (Norman, 2002): Existing outside the brain, identified through perceptual processes, and abstract knowledge of the world's representations in the brain, generally related to memory activity. Similarly for metaphors, there are two or different levels of analogy:
Concrete level, that is, form simulation, the pursuit of Design "shape", in the design of the physical and chemical design as a typical;
Abstract level, namely functional metaphor, the pursuit of the "spirit of the Operation", is designed to help people migrate the way of operation.
Whether the use of metaphor is appropriate or not will not only affect the user's perception of the design, but also affect the mode of operation. One of the places to be criticized for the design of materialization is that the excessive pursuit of similar forms interferes with the interaction between users and products. As far as e-books are concerned, "flipping pages" is a form of simulation of the world of analog reading, the pursuit of "shape"! Ignores the differences in display, function, and operation of different media books. As shown in the card metaphor below, the traditional book is the presentation of a double-sided card with a horizontal dimension, and an ebook is the display of a vertical dimension single card. Right and left page is the concept of double-sided cards, e-books the most natural way is to turn the screen up and down. The difference between the page and the screen, but the two concepts correspond to different modes of operation and reading habits.
E-books, at present, most (and will eventually) use the contact mode of interaction, through the card metaphor, set a reasonable turn-screen operation can be a certain extent to retrieve the lack of control of the book (such as the finger single point for the screen, fingers continuous long slide for fast screen operation, similar to the book). While abandoning the "likeness" of traditional reading, e-books should gradually cultivate and solidify new and appropriate reading habits and methods. "Flip" as a confusing concept, will interfere with the formation of new habits, should not be encouraged in the design.
Norman, D. (2002). The design of Everyday Things (originally published:the Psychology of Everyday Things). New york:basic Books.
Saffer, D. (2005). The role of metaphor in interaction. Carnegie Mellon University.