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Ebook Design Possibilities: User Generated Content and Annotation

In ECUAD's current Ebook class(DESN 214), taught by Jonathan Aitken, the students were recently broken up into groups and asked to analyze the realm of ebooks under very specific scopes. One group explored the following thems


User-generated content: Readers can contribute text, images, or video to selected titles and see it embedded in the ebooks.


Collaborative annotation: All readers of a book can highlight and comment on the text, and optionally share them with other readers.


Social network annotation: Users can share and view annotations among specific set of friends or colleagues, so for example, a group of students can share annotations on a class.


Input mechanisms: What are the different ways people can add content or interact with the ebook? Typing, touching, drawing, pinching, speaking, photographing...and more? What are the most creative and intriguing approaches?


The group comprised of ECUAD students Jenn, Sarah and Andrew. The group dove into the topic and explored several existing application that fell into the realm of the above themes, noting both the positive and negative aspects. Some of the inspirational apps included: Sprout, Zite, The Elements, and Kinetic.


Encouraged to show progress, the students uploaded the steps of their design process. The sketch above shows the brainstorming around improving the personalized online magazine, Zite, by implementing social media aspects. The new Zite-esque site would arrange chosen articles into a grid and allow a touch drag-and-drop interface allowing articles to be shared instantly.

For more information on the group ideas, visit their blog at

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Welcome to the SIM Centre

The Social + Interactive Media Centre is a new research centre that supports a wide range of applied social, interactive and design projects. Funded by a 5-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the centre offers BC companies a way to tap the design, creative and technical expertise of Emily Carr faculty and students.