"One of the 4 or 5 greatest user interface design minds in the world today."
— Alan Kay
Back in 2008, I read Magic Ink. One needs a little imagination to understand what this essay was like back then. It was sparsely and tastefully designed, had margin notes, a floating table of contents, and beautiful information graphics. There was no fluff. There was only deeply researched goodness—with citations. The writing was publication-quality. Where did this come from?
The look and feel of the essay still shines, but now there is more competition for stellar design on the web. At that time, it was—or seemed to be—a message from the future where web publishing could be more expressive than print. You don't need to read it (though you should) to understand the visceral effect this essay has on the reader. The message is clear: it is the medium.
The essay touched a place in me and continues to inspire me whenever I have to build an interface or write an essay.
Bret Victor has gone on to write more essays and give several talks, each of which causes excitement and inspiration. In my mind, he is one of the few pointing the way to a long term vision of the new medium of computers.
Eric Normand <firstname.lastname@example.org>
P.S. Feel free to email me any time. I love hearing from readers.