I'm developing software for forensic linguistic research. One of the things that I'll need to do is show if a person is nervous or worried. Or if a sentence is a statement or a question (the intonation pattern and frequency).

As a scientist, I would like to just show the signal itself, with the relevant aspects highlighted, but the user may not be able to make much sense of that.

I know you cannot probably solve this issue -- but maybe you experts know of some good inspiration of speech signal representation.

2 Answers 2


When you say signal I am assuming you mean something like a waveform? If that is the case then doing an interface that shows the waveform with sections highlighted that the user can hover over/click on to get more detailed information would be something that makes sense to me as a user.

Waveform mockup

  • Assuming this waveform is a correct format, I think this approach is promising, though the user would need to remember what is displayed on hover. For example, if a user hovers over the first two colored sections, then hovers over the third section, they would need to remember what the first two were for later comparison. Could the information shown on hover be displayed in a label format that is always visible, appearing above or below each section?
    – Andy
    Aug 19, 2015 at 1:45
  • Either a label format, or you use different colour highlighting with a key below the graph.
    – Varedis
    Aug 19, 2015 at 7:29

You could have a look at how soundcloud allows users to add comments to music tracks. To me it seems quite intuitive and you could draw parallels between it and your problem

enter image description here

  • 1
    sadly this solution only works real time - you cannot show this information about the wave 4 seconds before what you are currently listening / scrolling thru. additionally this is a very social feature as the people "react" to the song in real time Aug 18, 2015 at 8:59

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