The original motivation in building NoteCards was to develop an information analyst's support tool,
one that would help gather information about a topic and produce analytic reports. The designers
of Notecards observed that an information analyst usually follows a general procedure that consists
of a series of steps: (1) reading sources (news reports, scholarly articles, etc.), (2) collecting
clippings and filing them (in actual shoe-boxes!), and (3) writing analytic reports. The designers
also observed that throughout the process, the analyst forms analyses and conceptual models in his head.
The research goal of the PARC team was to develop technology to aid the analyst in forming better
conceputal models and analyses, and to find better expressions of these models and analyses.
A programmer's interface makes NoteCards an open architecture that allows users to build (in Lisp) new applications on top of NoteCards. Using this interface, the user can easily customize the browser. NoteCards allows easy creation of new types of nodes. Forty or fifty such specialized node types have been created to date, including text, video, animation, graphics, and actions. The new version also allows several users to work in the same Notefile at the same time. (Conklin, 1987)