The Book of what? As it turns out, The Book of Kells is a 9th
century Irish manuscript containing the four Gospels in Latin.
On first inspection, you would be forgiven for thinking that the CD is,
well, not as engaging as it could be. There's no flashy intro, no
illuminating graphics; in fact, there isn't a great deal to look at.
Clicking on a menu button accesses the navigation, which extends a row
of section buttons, each with its own drop-down of sub-sections. Nothing
bad about that, although I question the usability of constantly having
to click to open the main navigation (I've got this thing about
So I clicked around for a bit, looking at pages of the book, always with
the thought "it's OK, I suppose". I came back to it a couple of days
later in a slightly more intellectual frame of mind.
The point of this CD, as I see it, isn't to embellish the book with
superfluous design, but to let the book speak for itself.
The depth of research and production values of the CD are
There is no doubt a lot of hard work has gone into this. The narrative
is well written, clear and highly informative. The icons are obvious and
intuitive, although I did find the minimized main navigation irritating,
as there was no obvious way to see "the story" of the book. Because of
this it was difficult to have an experience as the flow was interrupted
by the need to constantly access main links. That aside, this is the CD
you want to get if you need to know anything about The Book of Kells,
which I suppose, was the point.
To be honest though, it's not really my cup of tea, but if you like this
sort of thing, then it's the equivalent of Dutch porn.
BOOK OF KELLS CD-ROM
Owner: Trinity College and X Communications
Positioning: Make The Book of Kells more accessible
Launched: March 2000
Developed by: X Communications