The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens

In most cases, paper books have more obvious topography than onscreen text. An open paperback presents a reader with two clearly defined domains—the left and right pages—and a total of eight corners with which to orient oneself. A reader can focus on a single page of a paper book without losing sight of the whole text: one can see where the book begins and ends and where one page is in relation to those borders. One can even feel the thickness of the pages read in one hand and pages to be read in the other. Turning the pages of a paper book is like leaving one footprint after another on the trail—there’s a rhythm to it and a visible record of how far one has traveled. All these features not only make text in a paper book easily navigable, they also make it easier to form a coherent mental map of the text.

Although e-readers like the Kindle and tablets like the iPad re-create pagination—sometimes complete with page numbers, headers and illustrations—the screen only displays a single virtual page: it is there and then it is gone. Instead of hiking the trail yourself, the trees, rocks and moss move past you in flashes with no trace of what came before and no way to see what lies ahead.

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens

But these days we are all really at the centre of our maps, which is both a useful and egocentric thing. A thousand years ago Jerusalem stood at the centre of the Christian world view, or if you lived in China it was Youzhou. But now it is us, a throbbing green dot on our handhelds. We no longer travel from A to B but from Me to B, and we spread out maps on the floor or on our laps in a car only with wistful nostalgia.

It is quite possible to walk, phones in our palms, from one end of a city to another without looking up. The loss is historical, social and monumental (as one inspired tweeter observed, I wouldn’t change my Apple Maps for all the tea in Cuba). In our cars, GPS may guide us quite merrily from one country to another, and we may arrive at our destination without any idea of how we got there. En route from London to Cornwall, drivers may listen to a radio documentary about Stonehenge without realising that they have passed it on the right, for it is not on the sat nav. We now tend to look just a few yards ahead, which is a shorter distance than our ancestors used to gaze when they lived in caves.

Why modern maps put everyone at the centre of the world

“In the digital age, the materiality of magazines will be the only reason why print media will stay. 

This project is a creative intervention done to represent the sensory experience one can only get when they read a paper bound book.”

Untitled by Melvin Tan

xclamationmk

it’s done! 

looks a bit plain but it’ll look better when i’ve got more projects to put on it. 

I think web design is quite interesting, though it does take a lot of time just to make minor changes/tweaking. would definitely want to look into web designing. 

xclamationmk

Final layout of my cargo website

I’ve put in the same projects as I did in the digital and print portfolio. However, there are more photographs on my website. I’ve also re-edited the photos as the previous ones were too dark and looked blue-grey.

changed the rollover image of my thumbnails to my newest pattern. 
also changed the weight of the project titles and color of the tags so that they are legible on the rollover image