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3 major functions of laptop




Do laptops provide the best environment

to manage information?

Compared to the iPhone with facial recognition, multiple sensors, and high-quality camera, our laptop doesn't seem so smart anymore. It still provides better processing ability, but it doesn't provide the best environment for users to do management. We just use our computer to access other platforms.

What is the problem with

the current system?

Folders are a hierarchical structure

Folders are good to use for categorization. But it's inflexibility makes organizing messy and time-consuming when dealing with enormous amounts of data. All the data are scattered around with no connection to each other.

How we categorize information

might be different from how we connect them


Storage location

Organized thread

Voyager runs a parallel system:

linear folders together with "stacks"

Introducing "Stacks"

Stacks is a network structure

This is a concept from HyperCard. A stack is formed by a group of cards and a card can be linked to any other cards. It helps users to "connect dots" and build their own "thread of thought".

Scenario I - Single picture

Imagine you have categorized your data into 5 different folders

Then you found one of the pictures is related to other materials outside of its folder


Press the "Add to Stacks" button


Select a stack


Insert the picture

Rearrange the order of cards

  • Voyager allows users to group the related data together without changing their storage location.

  • The trail is read from left to right, top to bottom.

  • Users can edit cards by using copy+paste, writing text or annotating.


Select a card

Retrieve its storage location 

by clicking

For example, the floating card is from "Architecture Machine.pdf", page 7, which is under the "Recommended reading" folder.

Scenario II - Multiple pages

Open a PDF file

Select the desired section to make it a card

Insert the new card to any other stacks

  • Data can be linked beyond folders, even from files

  • Now you can build your own way of thinking, instead of being restricted by the raw material order.

Scenario III - Retrieve multiple folders

Imagine you could find
multiple location at once,

all in one window

Select all cards
Click the folder button

  • The folders will sit in the corresponding position to the cards.

  • For example, the floating card comes from the "2017 Res_Pres"powerpoint, page 15, which is located at the folder of  "2015 Cybercon"

Scenario IV - Internet

Imagine every time you find something useful from the internet
but had to save the whole page to prevent losing the link.
 Then you forget what you saved this page for.


Select a section

Right click "Add to Stacks"


Side window opens

Insert the thumbnail to the desired stack


Save the webpage as archive

  • The card will automatically remember where the webpage is stored.

  • Now you can focus on the piece you want to edit, instead of the
    whole page.

Build your way of thinking

Categorized Information & Organized Thought

Interface is the point of contact and interaction between a machine and the "information environment." The observation channel in which we are interested is where the processors become tangent to the real world by directly sensing it or by communicating with a human (who senses it).

By Nicholas Negroponte, Toward a Theory of Architecture Machines


Evolution = History + Future

Other modules were studied prior to this final project of IxD Studio III.
See the takeaways from:


Vannevar Bush



Ted Nelson



Nicholas Negroponte



Bill Atkinson


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