Interactive book design is a format where you can mix powers of the web with powers of the book format. Where the features you should use depend on the purpose of the interactive book. The possibilities to mix different media and interactive features are almost endless. In this spirit, for support in such a project, I have developed a great analysis tool, the 6iModel. It is described in my book Learning Design in Practice for Everybody.
In the book The shallow – What the Internet does to our brain, Nicholas Carr on the basis of current brain research highlights the fact that using manual- and intellectual tools changes the neurological brain structure. This conclusion has already been shown during the 19th Century by different scientists. But for most of the 20th Century, this was rejected by the scientific community. Finally, in the 1990s it was ruled out that the brain never stops adapting and changing. It is constantly looking for better and more efficient methods to replace old inefficient.
The Archaic Web
The Web is such a revolutionary tool that offers a more efficient method. Carr writes: my brain demanded to be fed in the way the web fed it, it was not my reading method that had changed, but my thinking. But despite the fact that the web is an inspiring environment for reading and learning there is a significant problem. In Carr’s words:
“Try reading a book while you solve a crossword puzzle; this is the intellectual environment of the Internet.”
Interactive book design as the solution
But what if you re-packaged it? What if “the crossword puzzle” or other forms of activity was integrated into the digital content like in the layout of the well-known book format? Then suddenly the chaotic environment of the web with loads of different forms of interactions/distractions has turned into an engaging creative environment for inspiration, knowledge/skill creation, learning, and development. Since, besides the book’s ability as a source of knowledge- and storytelling, it is also a guide. Especially in contradiction to zapping on the web. An interactive book has purposes and at the same time the power to reinvent and integrate the addictive engaging features that are the WWW’s power.