Note’d is an interviewing tool created for sociocultural anthropologists conducting research in the field. Note’d allows the interviewer to be more present and focused during the interview, and simplifies the process of organizing and understanding the information gathered from each interview.

April 2013

School Project

UI & UX design

noted - home

In collaboration with — Chen Chen, Tiffany Cheng, and Addison Yang
Created with Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Axure
Role — user research, art direction, interface design, user experience

Sociocultural anthropologists, who study different societies and how the people within these societies behave and think, spend a lot of time in the field gathering data through methods such as participation observation, field notes, interviews, and surveys. To narrow the scope, we decided to design Note’d as a tool specifically aimed to aid with the different stages of interviews – planning, conducting, and organizing.

To begin, we identified 4 challenges that sociocultural anthropologists face and goals they aim to achieve when interviewing through background research:

  1. Establishing rapport – since the person with a recorder is often seen as the authority figure, the ideal situation is to create an environment where the participant is comfortable and willing to talk.
  2. Capturing the holistic picture – the interviewer must be adept at noticing all the details so that the whole picture can be reported.
  3. Thinking reflexively - being self-aware and understanding the ways in which the researcher’s involvement with a particular study influences the research.
  4. Creating conclusions - making meaningful implications, explanations, and conclusions based on the information received from the participants.

Keeping these challenges and goals in mind, we designed Note’d with one main feature: gesture-controlled bookmarks. These “bookmarks” allow the researcher to quickly note down when a participant has said something of importance while the interview is being recorded. For instance, if the researcher has set a heart shape as a bookmark for “love”, he can draw a heart shape whenever the participant talks about his relationships. These quick gestures allow the researcher to keep his attention on the participant during the interview, which will keep the flow of the conversation going as well as allow the researcher more time to observe the participant. Since research has shown that these interviews tend to revolve around predetermined topics, the interviewer can prepare for the interview by pre-setting bookmarks for these topics. For the unforeseen important topics that will inevitably comes up, a general bookmark can be set as well.

notedAudio recording screen
notedEditing Lab
notedVisual Notebook - for organizing thoughts and notes
notedSettings – User can customize bookmarks to fit their needs


These bookmarks will also help with organizing the files after the interviews. The Home page has a timeline of the most recent interviews for easy access, and each clip will have the bookmarks information visible. This lets the researcher see at a glance what topics were discussed in each interview.

Lastly, the Visual Notebook allows the researcher to create visual connections with all the data that they have collected. It is a blank canvas, and they can drag and drop clips or bookmarks onto it, write their own notes, draw diagrams – anything they want to organize the information that they’ve collected.