Effective hypertext

2 10 2007

Effective hypertext should be easy to navigate. I have come across hypertext where you’re not quite sure where to click in order to get a result. Vniverse was like that at first when as soon as I pressed “enter” and the stars began spinning, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Firefly, on the other hand, was a little easier to understand. The left half of the screen was dedicated to the story and the right was dedicated to an explanation of the site and its creator. For me, it is the simple hypertext site that is the most effective. Of course when done well, more complex hypertext can be effective as well.

 Hegirascope is an interesting example of hypertext. For me, it was a little bit more complex because it wasn’t simply words with links attached. Hegirascope told a countless number of stories in an interestingly endless way. However, I’m not sure it was effective. It frustrated me at times because it seemed as though the stories were good, I just could not figure out a way of piecing the stories together. I also was not fond of the way the screen skipped ahead only after a few seconds. I think effective hypertext is one that the reader should be able to control. Stained Word Window is a good example of hypertext that lets the reader choose where to go and when to go there.

Overall, I think effective hypertext can be simple, a little bit more complex, or anywhere in between, but as a reader I need it to be easy to navigate. I need to know how to get to the next screen successfully and I also need  able to figure out the story and understand it if not right away then eventually.

-Aveeda Goyanko

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