Editing and State Transitions

Editing and State Transitions

Saturday, May 27, 2006

8:58 AM

I absolutely love this research paper from Microsoft that describes a UI for a recording application. The great thing is that “all” they did was rethink the classic recorder interface of “rewind, play/record, fast forward” with a new state transition for “re-record that last thought.” The UI tells the story:



Isn’t that great? The results are significant, too: content creators uniformly preferred the interface and, even more significantly, 84% of listeners preferred freeform recordings made with this interface to recordings made with a traditional UI. I love that delivered quality depends on editing interface — something I’ve noticed when trying to write high-quality software for the Tablet PC.


I’ve actually thought of similar (though not as elegant) approaches to pen-written passages: accumulate short sections of expressive thought and assemble them using an interface different than the cursor-based WYSIWYG of a Word / classic keyboard editor.


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