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Anthon Astrom / Lukas Zimmer

© Astrom / Zimmer

© Astrom / Zimmer

Overview

Category

Graphic Design

 

Work

'Lines', a web-based, collaborative writing environment

Essay

Finding a Way through the Text Jungle

How is it possible to edit textual information on the Internet in such a way that readers can find their way through it more easily? With the web application 'Lines', the graphic designers Anthon Astrom and Lukas Zimmer intend to improve our ability to navigate through the surfeit of documents and act as our 'guides', so to speak, in the text jungle. Earlier, the developers argue, the printed word was dominant. This meant that information was organized in a specific sequence. The structure of writing and reading was similar. The voice of the author, his narrative, was communicated to the reader along a linear path. In contrast, people today increasingly read on the screen. The reading process has become more fragmentary, for by means of hyperlinks, the reader can effortlessly jump back and forth between text passages. But there is a major drawback to this development: by jumping from fragment to fragment, the train of thought of the author is taken out of context every time we click. The result of a final-year project at the art academies of Berne and Lucerne, 'Lines' seeks to remedy this situation. During the navigation process, the connections between text entries are to be made clearly visible at all times. The tool aims to provide more clarity and enhance the reader's understanding of the nature of a given thought. Various modes are offered: the 'Focus Mode', for example, only makes visible on the screen so much information as is required for a pleasant reading experience when going through a text passage. At the same time, the reader can jump back to the 'Parent Generation', i.e. to all entries that have led to the current entry. The authors argue that this makes it easier for readers to trace the origins of a thought. 'Lines' is suitable for telling stories, for holding debates and for publishing research findings. The objective of 'Lines' is to bring readers closer to authors once more and vice versa. The creators claim that the tool thereby facilitates collaborative discourse. Astrom and Zimmer elegantly combine their love of research with a practical application. Their next project is dedicated to the transition between print and screen and, conversely, between monitor and printed matter.
Peter Stohler

Resources

Biography

Name

Anthon Astrom

 

Born

1983

Education

Visual designer / researcher


 

Home page

www.thecafesociety.org

Biography

Name

Lukas Zimmer

 

Born

1980

Education

Visual designer / researcher

 

also in

2008


 

Home page

www.lukaszimmer.com