Our user, Joe, needs to write a report of some kind so therefore needs to do some background research. After searching academic journals, Joe reads and looks up terms and searches based on what he sees, all within half a second using a few keyboard shortcuts.
He then sits down at his virtual desk and writes themes and ideas for his research in a Dynamic View, along the lines of digital Post-It Notes. He moves them around as ‘nodes’ to see how they fit, grouping some and giving the groups names, connecting some with soft lines, others with strong lines and arrows, some with plain connections and others with labels.
In this view he can choose whether to see any of the research materials he went through, based on his annotations, keywords, who cited them, year of publication and so on, and any other relevant material.
He writes out what he has found and adds citations to his assertions, including to video clips. When he writes in jargon he has the option to add terms to his hyperGlossary, allowing anyone who will read his report to access his personal definitions.
The document grows in size and he needs help to remember where everywhere is, so Joe flips back into the Dynamic View, clicks cmd-f and types a keyword. On hitting ‘enter’ the text gets a coloured background and lines shoot out, into the paragraphs where the keyword is found–thick where many are found, thin where few are found. He decides to do a few of these, all with different colours, to better have a handle on what sections has what keyword text. He then remembers that he has saved sets of these searches and clicks to apply them. Instantly many of these search keywords appear, using colours which has meaning for him. In his case anything blueish has to do with tech, red with people, green with companies and blue with science.
He decides that he needs a thinking space for a sub-section so adds one with a click. He then decides this needs more than one brain so he ‘projects’ it onto the web, via a web intermedia system and invites colleagues to look at and manipulate the projection, and add annotations if they want to, or change the layout. Anything they do is reflected in his local copy but with Joe being able to choose which version to freeze into the document when he is done authoring it.
Furthermore, this is a new kind of PDF, called a Rich PDF, which contains the full original document, and an HTML version with all the metadata appended, inside the PDF in such a way that anyone who only has a standard PDF reader opens and sees the standard PDF but anyone who uses software which understands Rich PDF will use the richer data versions.
Julia reads Joe’s document but doesn’t have the time to go through all the prose initially. She therefore dons her VR headset and chooses one of her preset views and sees Joe’s document floating in a connected space with all her other research, connected by links, keywords, jargon in the form of hyperglossary terms and more. She extracts interesting sections from the document and slings them over to Twitter where they will enter wider cyberspace, firmly rooted in the original document.