Reducing the scope
When it comes to a voice transcription and annotation tool, there are a myriad number of possible use cases and users. Students can take notes on a professor's lecture as it is transcribed in real-time, journalists can refer back to their interviews for quotations, and user researchers can focus on user behavior instead of frantically taking notes while testing.
That being said, with so many possibilites comes countless questions. How might students record their lectures and take notes simultaneously? How would journalists incorporate other media like photos and videos into interview recordings? Could user researchers link their voice recordings to specific tests? To move forward with a reasonable scope, I had to add some constraints:
The tool would not support recording or real-time subscription.
While students especially could benefit from real-time transcription of professors' lectures, the fact remains that current speech recognition libraries are not accurate enough yet. As for not supporting recording, there are a number of voice recording apps available.
The tool would be purely audio and text-focused.
While users might want to incorporate photos or videos from their voice recordings, the app can quickly become cluttered with superfluous functionality. I decided to concentrate on creating the simplest and polished experience possible.
The tool would be web-based, and for all kinds of users.
By choosing not to specialize for a single profession, the app could be useful to a wider array of users as a pure voice annotation tool. And without a recording function, a mobile companion app would be unnecessary.