Updates from iAnnotate 2018: What EP’s Lead Developer Has Got To Say


If you couldn’t make it to iAnnotate 2018 in the sunny San Francisco, we’ve got some good news for you! Our lead developer Juan Corona had delivered an amazing presentation and co-hosted a workshop with our partners from Hypothesis, so we are eager to share parts of it with all of you.

Let us remind you what iAnnotate is. iAnnotate is an annual conference, where lead specialists in web-development gather up to discuss integration and customization of annotation software.

As Merriam-Webster defines annotation, it is “a note added by way of comment or explanation”. But the process of annotation is much more than that. It is a way for a reader to express herself, highlight a valuable piece of content, leave a commentary and simply express thoughts. Annotation encourages conversation among various users: from scholars and artists to writers, publishers, politicians and students.

However natural and easy the process might seem, it is also tedious and manual. The way it might be tedious for a person to annotate a book, it is an even greater challenge for others to competently analyze those annotations, or for the writer herself to share them with the world. Furthermore, accessibility is another milestone in this purely physical operation. By developing a digital annotation functionality, Evident Point strives to achieve added benefits of digitization such as ability to copy, share and analyze while keeping UX as simple and natural as possible.

Annotation is an exciting process but highlighting multiple sentences with the same yellow color  is not enough in the modern world.  To make digital annotations useful in learning and research, we have to also keep the ways of making and viewing in which manual annotation is so enjoyable.

Just like in real life when users are able to draw anything they like on the margins, digital annotation should allow freedom of expression. That’s why, personalization is the key to an even more engaging annotation: emoji, multiple colours, symbols, styles.

Another feature that brings annotation to a greater level is enabled tagging if something in particular has caught user’s attention. Or, why not allow the user to export their notes and create flashcards? There really are many ways to modernize annotation.

One of them being implementation of granular access control, which allows to manage the size of individual data shown, based on user credentials. This meaning that users are able to choose parts of annotations they would like to share with others by making them public, including comments as well. It is a tremendously important feature in eReading because this kind of control allows for a better flexibility within the platform or application. Whenever user would like to only be subjected to certain comments or annotations from a certain person, or maybe turn all annotations off – it should be a simple process. In order to allow for such great flexibility, a certain amount of resources, including a competent technology and an intuitive UI are required.

Evident Point strives to keep up with the emerging technologies in order to continue improving and offering Active Textbook users an even better annotating experience.

If you have got any questions or simply would like to get in touch, tag us on Twitter & Facebook @ActiveTextbook and we will respond to you as promptly as possible.

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