This report is also available as an Acrobat file.
Authoring and Design for the WWW
DESIGN CASE STUDIES
The Hai-Rise Urban Haiku Site
The site is intended to facilitate the exchange of ideas
within a small special interest group for urban haiku poetry and act as an
attractive publishing medium where users are invited to respond, and perhaps
themselves become contributors.
The creators of this site felt that the existing Web-based
poetry sites were unable to rival printed books in terms of attractiveness, and
that the potential of electronic media was not being fully exploited. They also
wanted to offer the possibility of graphical and interactive haiku in addition to
the conventional form.
The main frame
The main frame displays the primary content the poems
which have been commissioned or submitted. Web pages make a good location
for time-varying content. This publication allows any or all of the content to be
replaced or extended. New contributions can be seamlessly incorporated into the
The 'nav bar'
The use of a navigation bar is now commonplace in Web
documents, and frames lend themselves to this usage. However, there is a
contrary trend in the design of much interactive multimedia (for example on
CD-ROM) to do away with these clusters of buttons and instead to provide
triggers to additional information within the substance of the screen. As Web
documents become more able to incorporate interactive elements at
predetermined positions on the page, it is likely that a similar trend will take
place in Web design.
As with the Death Resource above some text is prepared in
a graphics package. The creators of this site felt strongly that they wanted the
text to be presented in the best possible way, with the maximum of control, and
so gave themselves the task of laying out each poem in a graphics package.
Clearly this is only realistic for haiku, and not for epic poetry which might
extend over scores of screens! This re-emphasises the importance of
considering maintenance in the initial design of a site.
It is important to avoid writing HTML code unnecessarily.
Here the formatting of users' submitted comments is semi-automatic. Comments
received as e-mail are broken down into their three component parts (in this case
by a HyperCard program) and output with all the necessary HTML codes to be
correctly appended as a new table to the end of the scrolling page. In this
prototype, a human editor has to operate the program which does the
conversion, but this process itself could be automated. However full automation
would raise obvious issues of editorial control, since any comment submitted
would appear instantly in the site, without the opportunity for editorial
Colour coding and confusion
In the navigation bar, two items are highlighted in the
visited link colour of the standard Netscape interface. In this context this may
well cause confusion, since a highlight is often used on such a row of buttons to
indicate which of the sections denoted is visible now. Here instead, as more
sections are visited more of the buttons will acquire highlights. At the time of
writing, it would take a certain amount of extra trouble to produce a highlighting
system of the conventional kind which really did show which was the current
view. This is the sort of problem which will be increasingly easy to solve using
plug-in' modules such as Shockwave or Java for standard browsers.
Virtual Environments Visualisation