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The significance of navigation and interactivity design for readers’ responses to interactive narrative
Some conclusions from an empirical study of readers’ responses

by James Pope

Interactive (or 'hypertext') fiction is a significant new art form because of the highly innovative narrative structures and delivery platforms it embraces, and yet in many extant examples the narrative and the delivery platform, the interface, are not happily wedded. This 'mis-match' can lead to negative experiences for readers. This paper discusses the style and usability of the interface, aiming to offer some guidance to writers. As well as considering the relevant literature, I refer to data from my empirical study of readers' responses to a range of interactive (hypertext) fiction, as supporting evidence for the conclusions offered. I argue that the design of the interface and its navigation systems are of absolutely crucial significance for readers' engagement and absorption with the narrative.

1. Introduction
2. Interactivity design
3. Navigation
4. Conclusion

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