Max Krieger

Ghost Slotting

What does autocompletion a la Copilot look like in a spatial design canvas?

A naive interpretation would resemble Copilot's "typeahead" interaction, surfacing a whole hypothetical design on top of the very same canvas, then accept it en masse. This seemed distracting and unintuitive to me.

When designing, I have specific "regions of interest" on the canvas at any given moment. I might be designing a list item, having drawn the container and planning to populate it with content. I would want to communicate my future intentions to a copilot spatially, mousing over regions I'd like it to populate.

I built a proto-design tool in which completions only appeared when activating a "completion mode". The shapes generated appear subtly as "ghost-slots", which you can mouse over in regions of interest to preview and commit them to the design.

These slots unobtrusively layer on top of the canvas. They communicate regions of potential intent, but don't loudly announce the content underneath until the user confirms the intent.

The system used GPT-4, which performed impressively on spatial reasoning with a coordinate-based encoding of the design, but was rather slow to generate. I suspect that a specialized, faster model could supplement a significant fraction of my design edits.