Revelations of Design Love: Designing a Non-linear, Academic Web Book with Scalar

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In 2015, UBC Press, along with the University of Washington Press, submitted a proposal to the Mellon Foundation to create an enhanced, non-linear Web book project that focuses on Indigenous knowledge. UBC Press launched a pilot project to turn a print book by Robert J. Muckle called The First Nations of British Columbia: An Anthropological Overview into a website that would facilitate the reading experience in a way unique to the Web, using the platform Scalar. Scalar is an open-source publishing platform created by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture that provides a unique, non-linear reading experience with text, images, audio, and video. It is mainly for educational topics and offers authors and publishers several templates that encourage digital publishing first. A website template enables designers to work with a pre-designed website or webpages that can end up being very similar or very different from the original template, depending on the amount of work put in by the designer. The use of templates to design websites has its strengths and limitations, which will be explored in this paper. This report documents the experience of testing Scalar from a design perspective.
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