General New Media

corkboard on my desktop

Corkboard-1.jpgI’m really liking Corkboard, a scrapbook / clipboard manager that places clippings on a translucent layer on the desktop. It’s convenient to use – drag and drop all the way – but it’s enjoyable to use. Clippings can be placed in meaningful ways on the onionskin. The designer, Jonathan Grynspan, drew the design criteria from the weaknesses of the traditional clipboard:

Corkboard is a supplement to the clipboard present in Mac OS X, designed to solve three interrelated problems:

1. Data on the clipboard is invisible. It is not clear what data may be stored on the clipboard at any given time. Corkboard provides graphical representations of numerous data types, making it clear what data is available

2. Data on the clipboard is fragile. A single key combination can destroy the only copy of a datum. Corkboard allows multiple data to be stored, reducing the occurrence of this problem.

3. Data on the clipboard is untouchable. Modern systems use strong visual- tactile feedback (e.g. animation), while the clipboard has almost no user-obvious representation. Corkboard provides a representation of copied data based on the real-world metaphor of a cork bulletin board, making it easier for less technical users to follow their data.

Corkboard makes the clip visible and touchable, but also arrangeable. By making the clip visible and persistent, Corkboard makes it possible to organize indexical clips spatially, visually. And that makes the clips easy to think about, select, and arrange.

The interesting thing: The corkboard layer is translucent, an onionskin, a palimpsest, more than a corkboard. Windows, icons, images from the desktop shows through the corkboard. That keeps the user oriented to the surface, but it suggests even more kinds of arrangement. Smart design move.