I am developing some software that has the ability to record video and send it to someone else. I have set it up so that when you record, it shows what you are recording as flipped horizontally (like you are looking in a mirror). Then when the other person receives the video it is played back to them the right way around (the way they would see it in real life).

I have talked about this to a few people as some think that this is rather confusing. Is there any research, examples, blog posts, best-practices out there that try to answer this problem, that I could point people with doubts about this implementation too?

  • 3
    What was the original reason for mirroring the video? What will a typical user be video recording? With which device will the recording happen (webcam or external camera)? Apr 13, 2012 at 7:40
  • If you are recording the person sitting at the computer and playing it back to them then mirroring does, at first glance, seem to be somewhat sensible. People are far more used to interacting with mirrors that do reverse left and right, so it would make it easier for them to adjust their position if the computer acted like a mirror.
    – ChrisF
    Apr 13, 2012 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


If you're recording the video and sending it later, then the recording user treats his view as a preview of what the other user is going to see. In this case it should definitely be the same as the final version, and should not be flipped, otherwise you're not showing him the final output.

If you're streaming the video, then the preview is also used as a way for the first user to position himself better in relation to the camera. This way the mirroring does makes more sense since it's easier to work with than the "real" flipped view.

  • It is actually a little in between. As you record I am flipping the image so the person recording can see is as a mirror, then if they play it back, it is back to normal. When they send it to someone, it is normal again.
    – Adam Harte
    Apr 14, 2012 at 4:33

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