In LayOut, we spent a considerable amount of time trying to come up with some novel new ways to make the basic editing experience for users as direct and immediate as we could. A centerpiece of that effort was the design of a multi-functional "direct manipulator" function accessed with the Select tool.
Our efforts were novel enough that our development team was awarded a patent (US9146660B2) in 2015.
"A computer-aided design system and method facilitates the editing of an object in a workspace of a computer aided design system. A user input indicating selection of an affine tool is received, and a user input indicating selection of the object is received. It is determined whether an additional user input is received. If it is determined that the additional user input is not received, a first set of user-activatable affine functions for manipulating the object is enabled. The first set of user-activatable affine functions includes a move function to move the object in the workspace and a resize function to resize the object. If it is determined that the additional user input is received, a second set of user-activatable functions for manipulating the object is enabled. The second set of user-activatable affine functions includes a skew function to skew the object."