Living documents is a useful tool with many features that enable users to author, review and edit documents as well as communicate in various ways about particular issues within them in addition to discussing general topics. Due to the large variety of features and the possible confusions that might happen regarding selection of an approach for interaction, we propose an alternative design for the Living documents which basically consists of a modified user interface layout, while the functions remain.
(1) The new layout is simplified and compact in terms of visual organisation of the elements.
(2) The placements of the functions related to discussion and review are repositions to give the impression of being more closely connected to the document which is being discussed. For example, the discussion function takes less space when integrated in the visual frame of the document, and aims to be more inviting in this setup just as the recommendation button which works in a similar way to social networks. In the same way, the chat function is integrated tightly to the document, meaning that the user has the option to choose to comment on a specific line, or make a general remark. Each user has its own colour code, which helps identify the views of the debaters.
(3) The discussion feature is redesigned to be as a separate editing document, accessible from the bottom of the original document, or in the list of documents. When accessed, it is positioned side by side with the original document which is being discussed in a view mode. The original document is used to mark up a certain sentence, paragraph or the entire body which is discussed. (see a visual representation in the attached pdf).
Note: The graphical style has not been retouched, therefor all colours and icon styling is to be decided by the creator and within the design guidelines.
A wider overview of the alternative layout design can be seen from the pdf :Living Documents-alternative design