Reimaging Hyperlinks: A New Way to Visualize Content Depth

Lightning Talk
Brinker Ferguson, CyArk, USA

Hypertext markup language, or HTML, is the language used to render websites in your browser. It adds multiple layers to written language by linking content over the Internet. These links, traditionally blue and underlined, tell us there's more information hidden beneath a particular part of the text. However, the two-dimensionality of the surface text does not reference any sort of depth. The information displayed with hyperlinks is therefore cognitively blunt—highlighting additional content, but not conveying the amount or relevance of the material.
Consider instead a page of an online article that's no longer flat, but molded like a raised relief map, with peaks and valleys to convey a multitude of background knowledge each word or phrase of the article necessitates. More significant articles could rest on “higher” terrain and short comments or quick thoughts on “lower” terrain. Rather than treat links flatly we can begin to re-imagine the display of hypertext information as three-dimensional, providing a more intuitive way to integrate related content. This lightening talk will address the spatial complexity of the Internet and re-imagine interface alternatives for displaying information.

Code Words: Technology and Theory in the Museum and online publications
Clough, Wayne. Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in the Digital Age. Washington: Smithsonian Books, 2013.
Galloway, Alexander. The Interface Effect. London: Polity, 2012.