Yarn is the stories we’ll tell our grandchildren about the things we do today.
Start with a snippet from your social history: a tweet, status message, instragram, check-in. Then fill in the details with a full story, pictures, @s from your friends, and more. And share the story with your friends, who can say “that’s not how I remember it” and fill in the details with their own twist.
I’m picturing the design with illustrations of aging hipsters still in horn-rim glasses, with gray soul-patches and steam-punk hearing aids. A woman is sitting in the corner knitting an iPad case, her hair all white except for one streak of purple.
Frank Chimero’s reflections on design perception border on spirituality. He discusses the difficult task of seeing reality, paying attention to its beauty, and finding “little love-notes” in everything around us.
“If our emotions, ideas, expressions are the sum, at an absolute base level, of chemical interactions, then literature is a kind of programming; it’s a means of manipulating the native code of the brain and forcing it to compile images and experiences that it would otherwise not experience.”
— From Paul Ford’s “They told stories to reprogram my brain.”
So consider this: 10,000 of us reading the same Kindle book, each of us highlighting and taking notes. Would the aggregate of this not be illuminating? If I want to publicly share my notes with fellow Kindle or iBooks readers, shouldn’t there be a system in place to do this?
“The Information Age is fine, but it looks so cheap. Usability and accessibility are fine things, but they are not beauty, at least not yet. Early books, if I remember correctly, attempted to simulate monastic inscriptions because mechanical printing seemed so cheap. But printing became its own art. And now we have the digital—and digital media, as everyone likes to point out, has its own language, its own meaning. So what we’re all speaking here, all of us building Web pages, is pidgin, a smash-up of languages—not yet a creole, and certainly not a language with its own literature behind it.”
iA have some clear opinions about screen typography: make it real, searchable, linkable, scrollable text. And make it big, probably Georgia. The strong opinions in this article, and especially the links at the end, are a good foundation in web-native text.
How do we begin to think about designing for pleasurable screen reading? Craig Mod’s reflections are a good starting point. We need to take the screen seriously, consider what screen type should be like, and how the form of the web browser determines the best reading experience and the most useful design.