Accommodating mixed sensory/modal preferences in collaborative writing systems
Writers use the abstractions of words to create meaning. But the activity of writing spans multiple concrete senses and modes. Technology-enhanced collaborative writing systems need to be sensitive to the preferred senses and modes of information in which writing teams want to work. Some preferences seem rooted in the senses (seeing vs. motor coordination); others seem based in the preferred modality of inputting or outputting information (speaking vs. writing; listening vs. reading). Still others seem based in the role of the writer on the team (author or commenter). We offer a framework for understanding some of these preferences and a prototype editor (the Prep Editor) we have been using to study them empirically.