I love what Mitchell Whitelaw calls a generous interface. The traditional search box gateway to a collection is reticent, even officious, begrudging you for your lack of familiarity with the goods. By contrast, a generous interface hails the most casual passerby with a taste of the collection or – better still – the whole feast and before you know it, you’re delving in and across and between, following your nose and filling up with wonder.
Unlike in the Museum game of Sembl, where players source content from the iPad’s camera, in the web-based game players will draw on the wealth of material already available online.
But finding something to resemble should not be the challenge of the game – that honour is reserved for resembling itself. An empty search box during the game would feel confronting, and counter to Sembl’s spirit of speculative exploration.
Clearly, Sembl Web needs to be hooked into some generous collection interfaces.