DemoCut: video editing software for DIY video authors 






Peggy Chi
Bjoern Hartmann
Mira Dontcheva
Wilmot Li


User Research
Coding Video Data
Developing and Conducting User Studies
Data Synthesis




DemoCut is a semi-automatic video editing system that allows Do-It-Yourself (DIY) video authors to create concise and informative DIY tutorial videos by focusing on important “moments” in their videos (i.e. showing materials, actions, steps) instead of having to worry about the exact timing when editing.

Amateur instructional videos are often a single, unedited take of a recorded demonstration. Oftentimes these videos end up being too long for the average viewer because they include unnecessary or repetitive actions as well as mistakes. This was a collaboration between UC Berkeley and Adobe Systems. As the undergraduate research assistant, I researched and analyzed YouTube videos, interviewed tutorial video authors, and helped run the pilot study and subsequent user studies. My collaborators for this project were Peggy Chi (UC Berkeley), Bjoern Hartmann (UC Berkeley), Mira Dontcheva (Adobe), and Wilmot Li (Adobe).



I was responsible for coding and analyzing YouTube DIY videos for various physical tasks, such as cooking, home improvement, repair, and crafts. I contacted and interviewed DIY video authors from around the country and world about their filming and video editing practices. I then synthesized and distilled my findings to aid in Peggy Chi’s creation of DemoCut, the video-editing software.



I ran a pilot study as well as subsequent user studies for DemoCut that included asking the participant to create a DIY video of him/herself wrapping a gift. I also helped develop a questionnaire for participants to answer and drew insights from the results. The users found the video editing software to be easy to use, but although DemoCut cut down the total time for videos, some of the sped-up segments made the tutorial look unnatural, so some users suggested having a way to override the sped-up videos or having control over the speed.



This research was presented at the 2013 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) in St. Andrews, Scotland

DemoCut: Generating Concise Instructional Videos for Physical Demonstrations Pei-yu (Peggy) Chi, Joyce Liu, Jason Linder, Mira Dontcheva, Wilmot Li, and Björn Hartmann