User Experience/DocumentCheck

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Idea Summary

The idea is about a "Document Check" functionality which checks the document for typical issues with regard to security, compatibility, content, understandability, graphical design and accessibility. The document check result provides information on where issues have been found and - if possible - proposals to correct the issues. Usually, the functionality may be called manually by the user, but it may be also executed automatically.

Currently, this page does only summarize the idea. So please add your own ideas and comments.


Please note that many of the issues described below may be solved with an adequate interaction design. But even then, inidvidual users and companies will benefit from the functionality.

In professional DTP software some of the proposed functionality is called "pre-flight" to ensure high quality printing.

Use Cases

Use Case 1: Sending Mail

Sara creates a small presentation document because of the birth of her first child. She wants to say thank you to all the congratulators - and so she adds some pictures and a short video file recorded with her cell phone. Before sending the document via mail, she is asked to execute the Document Check which summarizes some of potential issues. She is told that some of the pictures are only linked and not embedded, so the receiver might not be able to see the graphics. A simple click on the proposed solution automatically embeds all the linked images. Finally, the Document Check also tells her, that the video file format is proprietary - this might cause problems for others, too.

Use Case 2: Keep Corporate Identity

John works in a large company which really cares about the visual style of internal and external documents. Thus, the company provides in-depth information how templates, colors and fonts have to be used to ensure high quality corporate identity. But, John finds it difficult to keep all the information in mind, when working on documents. Especially, since his technical documentation or specification documents are based on various sources. Thus, after finishing each document, he executes the Document Check which informs him about potential Corporate Identity issues and also provides some hints to resolve these issues.

Use Case 3: Printing the Bachelor Thesis

Michael invested a lot of work to write his bachelor thesis in biology  - it is nearly finished. For the final review, he wants to give it to some friends. Since the file is rather large, he decides to share the file via an USB memory. Although he used the computer for years, mostly for surfing or mailing, he isn't sure if that will really work. The Document Check tells him that the document might look different, since he used a font which might not be available on other computers. Additionally, he notices that some graphics he used will only look good on computer screens, but may be blurry when printed out. He corrects these issues and shares the file.

Use Case 4: Documents for Everyone

Jane is a very active member in a non-profit organization. Recently, she agreed to take over the work on the internal magazin for the members and other interested people. After finishing the draft, she executes the Document Check which provides useful information on the style of the document. She is told that the document might look better when using less different font types and sizes. Additonally, the readability analysis proposes to use less complex sentence structures. Finally, the Document Check informs her about some color combinations which might make reading very difficult for people with limited eyesight (color blindness) - approx. 7% of men is affected. She didn't know about that, so she jumps to the page with a click and resolves the issues.

Detailed Description

Draft Mockup (only meant to communicate the idea)

Items to be Checked

The following lists contains idea what items to be checked. The list may be incomplete and does not provide any priorization or feasability.

Use of colors

If people with full eyesight create documents, they might be unaware of the problems of people with limited eyesight. Thus, the document might be checked for such problems in advance. There might even be some information how many people might be affected by that problem. More information at: Color Blindness (Wikipedia)

Use of fonts
People who do rarely create presentations might be unaware of the fact that font size is an important factor when havin a large audience. Usually people do know about that after the presentation :-)
  • Impress: Very small text in the main area of slides
Visual design
Use of colors

Begginers tend to use many different colors in a document. This might look unprofessional, so the user might be interested to be informed about that.

People in companies might use colors which are inacceptable with regard to the corporate identity styleguide.

Visual design
Use of fonts

Beginners tend to use many different fonts (font family, font size, font emphasis) in their documents. Many users judge these documents to look unprofessional, so the user might be interested to be informed about that.

Even experienced users may accidentally select a font which looks similar, but is different. He might want to be informed about that to keep a consistent visual design.

A different font might have been used accidentally in a special area

Missing References

If existing documents containing references are edited, some of the references might get lost. Unfortunately, the current approach is to just state that within the text. In a large document this might become a real problem if the user doesn't check it thoroughly. More information in the current specification: Direct cross references for headings and numbered paragraphs

A document gets modified and printed by another author.
The competition provides features like readability analysis, which might be added in the future. More information at: Readability (Wikipedia)

In the graphic applications objects are sometimes copied and are not moved. This increases the file size and may make further editing a bit difficult. The objects may be detected and removed.
  • Draw: Two absolutely identical objects are stacked

Hidden content

Some documents which are shared still contain information which is hidden. Very often, users don't notice that and share the critical or very personal content. This applies to : (personal) information, change tracking, in-file version control, comments, hidden text, unused master slides, hidden parts of cropped images, ...

  • Writer: HIdden text, comments
  • Calc: Hidden tables
  • Draw: Cropped images, objects besides the drawing area
External programs
  • Impress: Calling an external video player

Media file types
The user might embed video files with CODECs which are not generally available, e.g. propriatery CODECs on certain computer platforms. He might want to know that prior sharing the documents.

The user might make use of fonts which are not available on other computer systems. Especially since is available on different platforms, it would be safe to rely on the supplied fonts.

Media file linking

Printing costs
If large areas have to be printed, this may cause very high printing costs - some companies might want to inform the users about that.

Print borders
Due to the technical design, some printers do have restrictions concerning the printable range. Some of the objects in the document may be simply cut off.
  • Writer: Logo in the header
  • Draw: Large graphics
Grayscale compatibility
In many companies, color is used in documents although the printout is done on (cheaper) grayscale printers. The functionality checks whether the brightness contrast is suitable for the printout on those printers.




Graphical Design




Personal tools