Fred Hohman

Communicating with Interactive Articles

Distill (Distill), 2020
Invited Commentary Interactive Article, Top of Hacker News


In the spirit of previous computer-assisted cognition technologies, a new type of computational communication medium has emerged that leverages active reading techniques to make ideas more accessible to a broad range of people. These interactive articles have been shown to be more engaging, can help improve recall and learning, and attract broad readership and acclaim, yet we do not know that much about them. In this work, for the the first time, we connect the dots between interactive articles such as those featured in media publications and the techniques, theories, and empirical evaluations put forth by academic researchers across the fields of education, human-computer interaction, information visualization, and digital journalism. After describing the affordances of interactive articles, we provide critical reflections from our own experience with open-source, interactive publishing at scale. We conclude with discussing practical challenges and open research directions for authoring, designing, and publishing interactive articles.


  author={Hohman, Fred and Conlen, Matthew and Heer, Jeffrey and Chau, Duen Horng},
  title={Communicating with Interactive Articles},