End-user interfaces to electronic books.
Electronic book production is a developing field which is
still in its infancy. As such, there is still relatively
little material available in the form of design principles
or guidelines for the production of such books. It is also
extremely complex, in that electronic book designers can
take advantage of a number of delivery techniques which are
not available to authors of traditional paper-based books.
Such techniques include: multimedia (the delivery of text,
pictures, sound, and moving pictures); and hypermedia (the
linking of reactive information items to form non-linear
This research investigates some of the key issues in the
design of end-user interfaces to electronic books.
Essentially, this centres on three basic problems: the use
of metaphors in the design of interfaces to electronic
books; models for the design of multimedia pages; and the
provision of various knowledge corpus structures.
Interface metaphors are investigated through the
implementation and evaluation of the book metaphor.
Applications were developed which either embedded or did
not embed the book metaphor. Subjects used these
applications while undertaking a number of information
access tasks. Both qualitative and performance data werecollected
and some significant results were obtained.
Five page models were developed (referred to as: simple;
tiled; overlay; oversize; and dynamic) which were used to
design a number of page structures. These page structures
were evaluated using qualitative measures of user reactions
to the various page structures. Seven interface dimensions
were measured and again significant results were obtained.
To measure the effects of knowledge corpus structure on the
design of electronic books three different book structures
were created: linear; tree; and network. These were
investigated in the light of some common information access
tasks. The results indicated that some knowledge corpus
structures were more appropriate for certain types of task.