Listpad by Kerry Shih-Ping Chang | kerrychang [at]


Listpad is an Android application that lets users create customized structured data in an unstructured, notepad-like interface, where they can add structure to the text as they are entering the data. By “structure,” we refer to both the format of individual fields (like a time or place or plaintext), and also the specific sequence of fields in a record (such as that a record has a time, a name, then a location). Structure makes the data more useful and is often the basis for applications to provide services. However, structure also makes data entry less flexible and more cumbersome, especially on mobile devices. To address this problem, we designed Listpad with the following features:

  1. The users can add structure to the data when typing in a notepad-like interface. The data detectors in Listapd can automatically recognize common data types so the users don't need to define everything manually.

  2. In Listpad, items in a list do not need to be in the same structure (i.e. have the same fields). Each item can has its own structure if needed. When entering a new iterm, Listpad allows users to reuse existing structures easily.

  3. Using the structure information and the user's context, Listpad is able to provide more relavant typing suggestions using external data sources. For example, when the user enters data in a "place" field, Listpad can use search results from Google Places to suggest nearby places. We provide a defualt set of data sources for use.

    Listpad further allows end users to add new data sources to use in Listpad, by creating and installing a data source "plug-in". For details, please refer to our Spinel paper.


Kerry S. Chang, Brad A. Myers, Gene M. Cahill, Soumya Simanta, Edwin Morris and Grace Lewis. "Improving Structured Data Entry on Mobile Devices", Proceedings ACM UIST'2013. St Andrews, UK, Oct 8-11, 2013. pp. 75-84. [acm] [local]

Kerry S. Chang, Brad A. Myers, Gene M. Cahill, Soumya Simanta, Edwin Morris and Grace Lewis. "Listpad: Creating Customized Structured Data on Mobile Devices", CHI'2013 Workshop on Grand Challenges in Text Entry, April 28, 2013, Paris, France. [local]

Watch Demo Video

Download the video (26 MB. Right lick and choose "Save link as")

Try out Listpad

You can try out Listpad on your own Android phone. To install Listpad, download Listpad.apk and move the file to the phone's storage. On the phone, use apps like ASTRO File Manager or AppInstaller to open the apk file. Your phone will start installing the app. Remember in the phone's settings to allow applications not from the Google Play Store to be installed.

Like most of the research prototypes, Listpad is buggy and sometimes crashes. If you have trouble opening Listpad, try closing it completely from the app manager and restarting it again. You can also contact me at kerrychang[at] if you have any feedback. Listpad is tested on Android 4.2.1, in HD (720x1280) resolution.

Download Listpad here (Listpad.apk. 3 MB)