How we built tools that help publishers produce interactive books at scale.

Prototyping, Inkling

At Inkling, our goal was to reimagine the educational book for the digital era. A new type of book requires a new type of publishing tool. One of my roles was prototyping tools during the proof phase. I built several tools that helped editors to proofread interactive elements across the book.


I worked very closely with many in-house editors at Inkling during the proofing stage of the books I worked on. This cross-collaboration gave me insight into many of the pain points in their process. Scrolling through page by page to click on links to make sure they went to the the right place. Scrolling page by page to tap on interactive glossary items or footnotes to proof the content inside of them.

Traverser was a tool I built to help editors quickly navigate links using keyboard shortcuts. They could quickly scan the text of the link and cross-reference it to the exact section it linked too. This tool leveraged what a computer did best while leaving the editorial part to humans.


Once an editorial pain point was identified, I would sit down with a few of the editorial staff and lead co-designing sessions on how we might address them. I would take a week to develop a functional demonstration to see how it might fit into their process. Based on their feedback, I would iterate on the tools and add/remove features to adapt to their workflow.


Through this process, I created various prototypes are integral parts of the proofing process at Inkling and with publishing partners. Some of these tools were eventually incorporated into Inkling professional publishing tool, Habitat.

Poptip viewer was a tool I built to help editors to quickly scan all of the interactive glossary terms and footnotes in a book. They could see the text of the glossary term or footnote and the expanded content contained inside of it.