J.K. Rowling announced details about her much buzzed-about website, Pottermore, this morning, and fangirls and fanboys-who-lived are already raving with excitement. Now, thanks to Harry Potter fansites The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, excitement levels are rising even more.
Those sites have released the first few images of Pottermore’s interface, and they give a good idea of what the interactive user experience might be like. The above picture comes from MuggleNet and is entitled “Christmas at Hogwarts.” Obviously, it’s an illustration of the wizarding school during the holidays, which is fun in its own right, but it’s all the buttons that surround the image which really interest me.
There is a “Read About” tab, which will presumably provide some of Rowling’s unreleased notes about Christmastime at the school, a Hufflepuff badge and “house points” counter, and a “Friends” link, which will allow users to interact with their fellow witches and wizards. Along the top bar, there are buttons for “Diagon Alley,” “Great Hall,” “Gringotts,” “Common Room,” “Spells,” “Potions,” “Trunk,” “Friends” and “Favorites.”
Where will all these buttons lead? No idea. But they do show that Pottermore is seeking to be more than just a simple platform for releasing e-books or hosting an MMORPG. It looks like it is seeking to be a comprehensive web community for Potterheads that will allow users to insert themselves within the Hogwarts experience. Plus, it’s a pretty innovative way of releasing Rowling’s new insights on characters and plot points without publishing a whole new book, which haters would inevitably deem a sellout move.