The encyclopedia at interaction-design.org has just launched and includes video interviews, commentaries, interactive illustrations, and lots more. The encyclopedia deals with Interactive Design, Usability, and User Experience and the heading of the project is “Democratization of Knowledge”: That people from all the far corners of the world can get free access to world-class educational materials.

The encyclopedia has taken the opposite approach of the Wikipedia and crowdsourcing: All chapters are written by leading figures who either invented or contributed significantly to the topic they write about. However, it’s similar to the Wikipedia in that readers can copy and use the content for any purpose.

Living in the US, China or Germany doesn’t make a difference. Everybody can access all of the content. For free and forever. Students and practitioners usually spend up to $200 on each high quality educational textbook dealing with the design of interactive products like the Apple iPad or Microsoft Windows. That may be acceptable for someone in the US or Europe, but not for someone in India, China, or Indonesia. That’s the reason why researchers and professors from prominent companies and universities like Cambridge, Stanford, Microsoft, and IBM now contribute hard work for free to create open access to their knowledge.