Re: Musings on the contacts user experience

On Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 8:43 AM, Alexander Larsson <alexl redhat com> wrote:

> * An icon in the system tray area which gives dropdown with online
>  and recent contact shortcuts, as well as an item to open the
>  contacts.
> * A people tab in the overview
> * Return contacts when searching in the overview
> None of these are imho ideal. The search one is very efficient, but
> not very discoverable, so it must be combined with something else. The
> icon in the system tray is not really matching the purpose of the
> system area (to show the state of the system). The people tab while
> good for fast lookups, will not be able to give the full set of
> features outlined above (being pretty low in UI complexity), and will
> make it hard to interact with other apps (via e.g. dnd). So it can't
> replace a full address book dialog, and doesn't make it natural to
> reach it quickly.
> Here is a start idea of a possible UI that builds on a combination of
> the above:
> * The address book is multi-window. The main window lists contacts in
>  very short form, and allows searching grouping, sorting, filtering,
>  selection, adding, removing, etc. It also has a few shortcuts on
>  each contact to quickly start a conversation, but the main operation
>  on each contact is bringing up a separate window with
>  the contact information, status and possible operations. It probably
>  looks something like the two-pane design on
> * The overview gets a new tab "people" which contains a subset of the
>  contacts information (online, favorites, recently contacted, etc)
>  with a small preview of the contact (picture, name, nick, im status,
>  last tweet, last IM, etc). Clicking on it will bring up the contact
>  in a window, just like in the address book.
> * Search in the overview includes search hits from the full set of
>  contacts, looking and working similarly to the people tab entries.
> * Make it possible to go online on IM from the user menu
> * Add a shortcut to the address book on the dash by default.
> The weakest part of this is imho the dash shortcut, as it makes the
> contacts dialog seem like an external app rather than a core thing, but
> I can't find a better place for it.
> We may also want to allow adding contacts to the dash, just to make the
> contacts a first class citizen of the overview, but i'm not sure how
> useful this is in practice.

Hey Alex,

thanks for these thoughts. I agree with most of them, so I'll just
point out the few things where I see things differently or would put a
different emphasis.

One more addition for your 'tasks involving contacts' list:
* Schedule a meeting and invite participants

I'm not sure we really want a separate people tab in the overview. I
know it is tempting, now that we have these 'tabs', to just keep
adding on there: places, documents, contacts, what have you... but I
think it will lead to a clunky experience if we add a separate tab for
each class of objects that we want to treat as important. Showing
contacts (and documents, etc) in the search results on the other hand,
seems like a very natural idea and makes a ton of sense.

Wrt to the contacts app: For better or worse, the gnome3 design is
app-centric, so we should not avoid making things 'external apps' -
quite the contrary, we need to encourage strong, new apps to make the
shell design really work out. So I am all for making the contacts an
app; that doesn't prevent it from being a well-integrated part of the


[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]