Quote management and inspiration app for large-scale scholarly writing projects.
In large-scale scholarly writing, it is painful to memorize and insert hundreds of quotes at the right place—a pain I also experience.
Current reference management tools are either lightweight but bare or complex but dumb. Few are designed based on quotation.
A professor and seven grad students
2 user tests
1 month at school; prioritized mobile app
Scholars quote to:
Back up claim and speak to authority.
Show awareness of field scholarship.
Prepare material for argumentation.
Quotes can be:
Inserted after argument for support.
Planned anchors to elaborate around.
Triggers to recall thoughts in the past.
Greatly varies by writer;
Scholars read everywhere—at the desk, while walking, on buses and even in a football field.
Despite PDFs’ special importance, many preferred paper books for its physicality, though also complaining about the clumsiness of having to sort and organize notes afterwards.
Many judge their highlights on the spot, if not right after: “am I using this or not?”
Because paper is physical, the book object is a profoundly important memory trigger. Ink marks are not just comments; they are also spatial cues for future selves to recall past thoughts.
In this light, paper is more efficient than electronic documents. One scholar has even been taking pictures of his surroundings to add another layer of spatial cues.
Mobile: quote collecting and annotation, preliminary matching of source text info (ISBN or Library of Congress Call Number).
Desktop: quote library, deep edit source text info, tags, tag visualization, export selected quotes to document.
I am Peiran Tan, a senior of visual communication design at the University of Washington. I am open for freelance and looking for a full-time job.
I believe good design brings relief, utility, and, if possible, beauty, into ordinary people’s lives.