WWWeb Hypertext Style
by Jerry Tutsch, Copyright © 1996
Previous/Next PageThe user interface feature most often used by a book reader is the page flip. The function of the page flip is two fold. First, a page flip allows the reader to scroll to the next physical section (page) of text.1 Secondly, since books are structured in a linear way, the page flip is also used to navigate to the next logical section of the book.
In a hypertext document, it is sometimes necessary to scroll within a window to see all of the text in a node. However, since the physical order of the nodes is not related to the reading order, replicating the navigational function of a page flip with a "next page" button is generally not possible.2
If in a hypertext document, some sections or chunks are best read in a sequential fashion, a link to the logically previous or next sections should be placed at the beginning or end of the sections. Within linear parts of the hypertext document, Netscape's Back/Forward buttons can be used to navigate within the history list.3
As navigational tools, previous/next functions only make sense within static documents. Corresponding navigational tools, back/forward, are needed in dynamic documents but are meaningful only in conjunction with a dynamic reading path such as that recorded by a history list. For "dead" books, page sequence in space (fixed by the author) implies reading sequence in time. For "live" hypertext, page sequence in space is meaningless and reading sequence in time is controlled by the reader.
Created using HyperText ToolÝ, at 11:53 AM, on 4/3/96. The document is located at: http://www.execpc.com/~tutsch/HTT-W3HTS/top.html.