“As a writer I can easily structure my content” is the 9th of 27 requirements that we studied as part of our benchmark study on XML editors. The ease of structuring a document is perhaps the most obvious prerequisite for an efficient structured authoring tool, but also the most ambiguous. This differs for each user depending on their previous experience, work environment, subject matter, and so on. These factors are eventually facilitated by the interaction design that allows the author to perform core activities in creating structured content, and through this having a positive, productive experience.

Common pitfalls

The average score for this user-need was 2.9 out of 5, with more traditional tools having lower average scores than newer, web-based editors. The most common pitfalls are either an overly technical approach, or taking too much control away from the author. Having an application on either end of this spectrum results in a product that can never fully live up to it’s promise.

Modular architecture

FontoXML strives for a middle ground where the application is suitable for non-technical subject matter experts, yet is powerful enough to accommodate for all foreseeable use-cases within an organization. One key value is offering the right functionality in the right place at the right time. This requires a lot of customization, and for that reason the application is built up in a modular way, in close collaboration with our clients. Usability tests are employed to evaluate design choices and get an understanding of each organization’s particular needs. These design choices include all interface elements, vocabulary, data visualization and quality metrics.

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