When editing with timelines (ie, mostly audio/video), there exists a very useful but also very obscure concept of Ripple Editing. The idea being that edits you make (primarily: Cut, Paste, Delete) "ripple" through the project. If, for example, I paste a 5s clip at 1 minute, all other clips after 1 minute move back by 5s to make room for the clip I just pasted.

In practice, you need to be taught this concept as most apps just don't explain it particularly well - or at all, really:

Reaper Filmora

I have seen some apps try to avoid using the word Ripple...

Ableton Live

... and turn them into seemingly world-ending options instead.

So, the question is:

  1. Can we do better than the current industry standard?
  2. Is avoiding the jargon in this particular case good in the long run?

1 Answer 1


The conclusion I came to personally goes as thus:

  1. Can we do better than the current industry standard?

Yes. A lot of jargon is derived from stuff that used to be ubiquitous but now is very rare. In some cases it's fine to keep it around if it's well-understood (💾 for save, "footage" for, well, source material even though it now is measured in gigabytes, rather than feet of film), but for Ripple, that's not the case - especially as signal ripples exist and are undesirable, and in the context of audio in particular it's not unreasonable to assume some people have come across it.

In order to avoid jargon, a good (but perhaps not massively elegant) solution is to just describe what the options do:

  • Ripple Cut -> Cut and close gap
  • Ripple Delete -> Delete and close gap
  • Ripple Paste -> Paste while creating room for the paste

The latter feels way clumsy, so we can try another word for paste which has some connotation with the actual "wedge it in there" action:

  • Ripple Paste -> Insert

This is the option Premiere uses and the one I'd use as well. (That said, Premiere still uses ripple in other contexts.)

  1. Is avoiding the jargon in this particular case good in the long run?

This probably depends on the target audience more than anything. If you want to target long-time industry professionals who simply are used to these terms and also metaphors that are outdated by 20 years, you're probably putting yourself at a disadvantage to other competitors. However, if you're targeting new users with no prior knowledge, avoiding obscure jargon makes the app much easier to understand.


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