Hypercontext: Same as it never was

Why New Media research can be truly different

Andy Dexter
DVL Smith Ltd
Joseph Brown
DVL Smith Ltd


Technically, hypercontext is a term used by web designers. Hypercontext is a 3-layer model for adaptive hypertext. The model supports the use of multiple interpretations of objects of information. Whenever an object is accessed, hypercontext determines the context in which the access has taken place and presents the appropriate interpretation to the user. It can be dumb or smart: dumb if the interaction is human-computer: smart if the interaction is human-human.

Here, we are also using hypercontext as shorthand for the web-like complexity of the situational surround within which internet users are operating.

The paper will first discuss human-computer interactions and illustrate via a case study how an enhanced hypercontextual understanding can help researchers contribute to the development of intelligent websites. We examine what we can learn from this approach as regards market research methods and their correspondence to human thought patterns. We then discuss the effects on human-human interactions via computer mediated communications.