In the current version of Author users can pinch in on their trackpads to collapse their document into an outline. What we are working on now is the opposite: Pinching out to produce a graph view:
Gesture to Enter
User pinches out on their trackpad and all text except words which are defined as ‘terms’ in the user’s glossary (which is stored as WordPress entries on their blog, primarily by using Liquid | Flow: wordpress.liquid.info/using-flow-to-post-glossary-term/ ) rapidly fade.
The terms animate into the screen in the same rapid fashion into a layout clustered around the connections described in the terms WordPress entries. Shown here in a software test, not visual mockup, showing in an oval as an example initial layout: youtube.com/watch?v=eZlJQM1UbLg&list=UUHhmilKTL-0GQDFKvzGbRrg
The user can also ctrl-click or click and hold on a term in the body text and choose ‘Open in Dynamic View’ and the view will switch to the dynamic view with that term in the centre.
The user can now:
- Move. Click and move these items around the screen
- Link. Click and move onto another term to connect them with a line. A pop-up dialog will ask the user to state what the connection is and this connection will be written into the first/dragged term’s WordPress entry
- Add. Double click on the background to add a new term. On hitting Enter the text becomes grey and gets a tiny WordPress icon on mouse over. Click on this to enter a new term into WordPress or do shift-enter to do this in one step. If user does not add a WordPress entry the text stays grey but will be fully intractable otherwise. New terms are not visible in the word processor view of the document
- Term/Node Options. Double click/click and hold or ctrl-click on terms to see options including:
- View in WordPress
- Show/Hide Links
- Hide Selected/Hide all else
- View and choose to follow any included internal or external links
- Information from the definition (the WordPress post) appears
- View all sentences with this term in the document
- Options Control Bar. Ctrl-Click on the background or spacebar to view options presented in a bar at the bottom of the screen:
- Show all glossary terms or only those in the document
- Show headings as well, specifying to what level
- Show/Hide connections
- Layout Options in the Control Bar:
- Show only specific elements (see below)
- Layout based on timeline or any other x-y coordinates
- Save Layout. Option for the user to Save Layout presented as an option in a General Options control panel/ctrl-click on background and cmd-s which lets the user name the view. This view will be listed when the user does cmd-shift-k, next to Headings and Images so that the user can refer to it in the main body text. The user can also choose to ‘Insert’ a saved view which will be inserted as a screenshot which, if clicked on, will open as that view. Importantly, in this view the user can flip between any other views. Views are likely going to be listed in a bar at the top of the screen, visible while the control bar on the bottom of the screen is visible
- Pinch in to expand back into word processor view
Elements on screen have the following default categories and visual styles, all following the same fonts, sizes and colours as the main document
- Documents (citations) are shown with thin boxes around them, or underline or italic
- People (authors) are shown with tiny pictures of the person (if in WordPress post) to the left
- Organisations/Institutions are shown with tiny logos/pictures of the person (if in WordPress post) to the left
- Concepts (anything which does not fit into the above) are shown as normal text
- Custom, if user needs other types
The layout of the dynamic view will be stored with the document so that when the user pinches out again, the terms will be as before, not in a default state.
Selecting terms by clicking on a term allows the user to invoke Liquid | Flow–this is ordinary text.
The point of this view is to help the user connect major concepts, important people and the organisations they are associated with as well as the major documents which contain this information in a rigorous (links must have a type/description) and creative (free from artificial constraints) to help them get a better grasp of what they are researching and writing, and allow them to build diagrams to communicate this to their reader.
The user can easily build maps of how documents relate through major citations, who has cited who and how concepts relate, all without leaving their authoring environment and coming back with flat screenshots, but retaining the same elements on all the different views.