Is this hypertext any good?
Evaluating quality in hypermedia

by George Landow

What is quality in hypertext? How, in other words, do we judge a hypertext collection of documents (or web) to be successful or unsuccessful, to be good or bad as hypertext? How can we judge if a particular hypertext achieves elegance or just mediocrity? Those questions lead to another: what in particular is good about hypertext? To answer these questions this paper proposes a number of basic rules, including (1) Individual lexias should have an adequate number of links, (2) Following links should provide a satisfying experience, (3) The pleasure of following links comes from a perception of coherence, (4) such coherence can take the form of analogy, (5) Individual lexias should satisfy readers and yet prompt them to want to follow additional links, (6) The document should exemplify true hypertextuality by providing multiple lines of organization, and (7) hyper-document should fully engage the hypertextual capacities of the particular software environment employed.

The paper also asks if (1) hypertext has a characteristic or necessary form of metaphoric organization? (2) how important are gaps between documents to successful hypertext? (3) What is the relation between animated text and hypertext.

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