“Interface: the actual story”
Technological enhancements and the integration of digital media into our daily lives have brought us many possibilities to form new associations and interact with the content that we are confronted with. Digital storytelling is such a field, which by using the characteristics of new media tries to form new semantic and syntactic relations between the authors/producers/designers/creators, the stories told and the users. Interface appears as the gateway through which the user accesses the content. The physical and digital interfaces (graphical user interfaces) and how the user interacts with them set the rules of the process by which the data is accessed. New media places the interface and the user at the heart of this interaction. The possibility of customising the user experience is an exciting one, which can bring dynamism to any story that is being told. The graphical user interface not only provides access to the content being represented but also gives freedom to the user to a degree on how to experience the story and provides visual information about the look and feel of the story. This chapter probes into the idea that an interface beyond being an undetachable part of the story being told, also acts as a part of the story with which it unfolds. Whether it is an online book, a hyperlinked story, a new media documentary, a computer game, or any other form of transmedia storytelling, interface becomes an important element of the story that gives visual hints and designates the look and feel of the story being told. This study intends to put forward interface as the element that is the gateway to the story, a part of the story and the reflection of the user who access the content through interacting with the interface.