Re: Musings on the contacts user experience

On Thu, 2011-04-28 at 16:43 -0400, Matthew Barnes wrote:
> On Thu, 2011-04-28 at 16:20 -0400, Matthias Clasen wrote:
> > One more addition for your 'tasks involving contacts' list:
> > * Schedule a meeting and invite participants
> Speaking of corporatey use cases, the traditional address book is still
> used as a view of directory services like a company roster on an LDAP or
> Exchange server, where you might have tens of thousands of entries that
> your IT department keeps up-to-date for you.

In general, I think there are a few scales of contact sources we should
consider (from smallest to largest / most- to least-frequent

* favorites
* local address book, IM contacts, web services (including Facebook)
* remote directory (eg, LDAP)

Most UIs sort favorites at the top of aggregated local addressbook
and/or IM contacts and leave out directory contacts entirely or require
switching views to see them (as in Evolution).

I'd prefer an address book to show the aggregate of {local address book,
IM contacts, web service contacts} in browse mode and only reveal
LDAP/huge directory contacts when searching. The nice thing about that
is the user can search for someone and select them as soon as they show
up, simply waiting for the throbber to stop if the person they had in
mind hasn't shown up yet (as the remote search(es) progress).

Folks only supports enumerated contact stores now, but we should be
addressing this as part of bgo#646808 (or a bug we'll split off of it).

> Granted I don't know how much time people really spend browsing these
> things, but it wasn't really clear from your musings if you're also
> targeting the corporate world or if this is more about keeping in touch
> with Facebook friends.

Personally, I don't see the point of supporting browsing through huge
directories. I'd rather we support it in search (as above) and make it
dead-obvious (if) more people are available through search than browsing
(possibly through clarifying search box text).


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