Monday, June 16, 2008

Revisions 2

2. Suggested Changes to Notebook Icons
a. Audio playback icon

We find the record, pause, and stop buttons to be so intuitive because of their consistency with other computer and real-world players. Therefore, we’re stumped as to why there isn’t a play button for paper-based control of audio records. While there are handy icons for scrolling within a record, it’s not initially semantically clear what the purpose of this icon is for.

Putting a “play” triangle somewhere on this image would greatly assist users in figuring out how to operate the pen using paper. Above we show our suggested change.

LiveScribe User Feedback

1. Trouble Using Menu System

a. Hard to Find 'Play Session’

Many of us experienced the same problem trying to play back audio or initiate ‘Paper Replay’ using NavPlus. According to the Smartpen User Manual, in order to record a session, the following set of actions must be executed.

- Double tap center of NavPlus to reach the main menu.
- Tap the down arrow until Paper Replay is displayed.
- Tap the right arrow to select the Paper Replay application menu. The first item is Record Session.
- Tap on the down arrow until you reach Play Session.
- Tap the right arrow and use the down arrow to scroll through sessions in the pen's memory.

Three of us made the mistake (several times) of getting to the Paper Replay menu and then accidentally pressing the top right arrow again, which initiates recording. This created several “dummy files” (i.e. accidental recordings) that then had to be erased once the pen output was downloaded. Why is Record Session the first item in the Paper Reply menu? Wouldn’t record session be better placed in another sub-menu? Paper Replay is conceptually about playback, not recording, and so it is counter-intuitive to place Record Session in this sub-menu, especially as the first choice. It is also not easy to know that there is another option in the Paper Replay sub-menu below Record Session to choose at all, because of the visual layout of the menus (only one option at a time can be shown on the pen screen).

Our recommendation is to move Record Session from the Paper Replay sub-menu and instead make Record Session an option in the Main Menu before or after Paper Replay.


Current Options in Paper Replay
>Record Session
>Play Session
>Delete Session

Suggested Revisions to Paper Replay
>Play Session
>Delete Session

b. Recording Mistakes Easy to Make

In addition, it is too easy to begin recording when one doesn’t mean to. It would be useful to have another option between Record Session and the actual command, much like currently exists with Delete Session. For example, an intermediate menu item that reads:

\Record Session? >

Selecting the right arrow then confirms recording to begin. This could prevent recording “dummy sessions” by giving users another layer of insulation from an error.