The future implications of the Marginalia prototype are vast but require screen technology to be less of a replacement for print material and more as a way to enhance the physical book. The binary equation that we either have a screen or we have paper polarizes the creative space between books and screens. The ubiquity of networking systems, wifi enabled devices, and connected cellular phones has only reinforced the necessity to define when and where screen based computational devices are employed and used. However the convergence of media and systems that allow tangible print media to come up to speed to the technological screen are under pursued by both research and design. As screens infiltrate every nook and cranny or our existence, computers should start to employ an embedded nature where their importance and usefulness becomes indistinguishable from the original form. Systems that require less of our direct attention, and allow the experience of books to not be fundamentally altered but rather assisted by technology. Allowing the use of multiple books at once, and utilizing the spacial and tactile meaning associated with tangible print.The systems that impact the communication between media types would then impact the forms, functions, social and educational outcomes of such devices, services and products. The Marginalia prototypes sets up and an opportunity where a textbook is shared across the social network of a classroom. However, this same strategy could be applied for the process for fiction, comics, magazines, and periodicals for book clubs, professional organizations, and achedemic circles. Since the marginalia system turns the margin space into a communication platform, then all physical books can remotely impact the types of conversations that a set social group could start. Furthermore, the bridging of the physical digital divide would impact the “meta histories” that get associated around objects and users. Since an object would be connected to its purchaser through the networked pages, input pen/stylus system and extend screen space to the digital piece, then the added “metadata” of marginalia is shared and influenced through existing social networking. Metrics and computational aggregation could be applied to books margin spaces becoming another aspect of content that is added onto the physical content as a selling piece. Similar to the information of when it was written, the author, and the publisher, and the amount sold, the number of added marginalia notes, questions, and comments could impact the reasoning behind purchasing that piece of physical text. Tangible print material could be organized by amount of extra information that is added to the original piece of content through the marginalia system. Physical books would have not only the content located on the page but also all the extension of the media through its users and access through the screen space. Along with specifically designed content for the marginalia system, the marginalia screen extension is interchangeable between numerous pieces of content. The volumes of existing books could be augmented by a computational additive, when coupled with projects like google books and other library systems that are converting all their tangible print media to digital files, then the use of previous artifacts with a computational additive would be a way to reengage the previous form. Rather than looking at older print material as unapproachable by computational systems, the marginalia system could be away to link the static form with the digital form. Along with coupling older print media to a computational affordance, Marginalia would allow purely screen systems to take advantage of the screen experience. The screen would cease as a replication of the book experience and have the opportunity engage the screen experience as a unique media delivery form.
In the pursuit to establish a 3rd form somewhere between the physical page and the screen display, a number of methodologies were used including, ethnographic research, design based probes, rapid prototyping and creative strategies that pushed and pulled at the concept of computation that is not limited to current or past structures and form factors. At the core of these methodologies, I have held that a media designer's role is as an advocate for the experience of a user. The book’s affordances do not have to be excluded from the affordances of a screen and vice versa. The opportunity to engage users within unique experiences requires that the design and research center around experience interaction. Experience design (XD) is the practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments with a focus placed on the quality of the user experience and culturally relevant solutions, with less emphasis placed on increasing and improving functionality of the design. Experience design draws from many sources including cognitive psychology and perceptual psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, architecture and environmental design, haptics, hazard analysis, product design, information design, information architecture, ethnography, brand management, interaction design, service design, storytelling, heuristics, and design thinking. The marginalia prototype takes an experience based, human-center design strategy to reveal that books and the experience readers engage in is a value that a screen cannot replace. However a screen has a different experience that could rather than replace the mode of paper be combined with it to create a knowledge system that builds on top of the entrenched system of books.
The experience of knowledge is socially mediated through educational systems. Furthermore, building in the affordance of communication advances the experience of reading through coupling the comprehension to a social network. The experience of communicating comprehension and social learning is joined with the experience of reading.
Tangible print material should adopt the screen not as a replacement but rather as a way to extend the existing media. Currently print media publication business models rely on volume. The cost of printing and producing physical artifacts leaves razor thin margins for the publishing houses. However, the radically different e-book business model eliminates the costly aspect of distribution and relies on the networked systems to which their devices are connected to handle the delivery. The Kindle for example is a technology that allows the Amazon’s marketplace to survive. Just as marketplaces spring up around digital content, if a book was connected to that affordance then a physical piece of media could invent new marketplaces for extending the content. The extended margin screen would display unique content to each piece of writing allowing for a variety of images, notes, videos, and creative content to supplement the physical artifact. The margin screen space marketplace could then concentrate on creative, innovative, and unique ways to impact the physical artifact rather then replace it with data.