The E-Quill Web toolbar (IE  SEP 27 2000

The E-Quill Web toolbar (IE 5+ for PC only) is the neatest thing I've seen in a long time. Basically, it lets you scribble, leave notes, and highlight text on any Web page you want...and then send the results to people, who can look at it without any plug-ins or anything. This would be a great tool for quick online design prototyping and such: the designer whips out a design, sends it to the creative director, the CD adds some comments, sends it back, and so on. Very cool stuff. Thanks to David for passing it along.

Here's an example of what E-Quill does: an annotated version of kottke.org. You should be able to view this on any 4+ level browser.

An E-Quill experiment: I want your feedback on my site design. So, if you've got the time:

1. install E-Quill on your machine (again, IE 5+ only)
2. browse back to kottke.org
3. scribble your comments about the site design all over the place
4. email me your annotated page

I'll post links to all the feedback I receive.

E-Quill also adds a new dimension to the process of online commentary (of which weblogging is a part). Online commentators like Dack, Peter, Jakob, Mark Hurst can use E-Quill to mark up pages and then post them to their sites. That way, while you're reading Mark's latest piece on how a site's design is hindering the customer experience, you can also click through and view some annotated comments right on top of the site design, so that you can see exactly what he's talking about.

As an example, I've marked up a page on dreamless.org with my comments from yesterday. A simple example, but you can see how useful this could be for commentators in general and webloggers specifically.

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