Re: Musings on the contacts user experience


Travis Reitter wrote:
> In general, I think there are a few scales of contact sources we should
> consider (from smallest to largest / most- to least-frequent
> communication):
> * favorites
> * local address book, IM contacts, web services (including Facebook)
> * remote directory (eg, LDAP)

Having used Android for a few years, I really like having two types of
favourites: starred favourites that you always want to see there, but
who you don't necessarily call very often (sorry Mom!) and "frequently
contacted" - people who you contact often.

I would be really happy to have something like Thunderbird's
auto-completion heuristic for all applications where you use contacts -
contacts matching what you type are presented in a "most frequently
contacted" sort order - and while I have no evidence to think so, it
seems like more recent contact gets weighed more heavily too.

> 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).

Android has a separate "favourites" view, as well as the "search as you
type" feature in the global view. And also application context specific
presentation of contacts (only contacts with a phone number get shown in
the phone app, only those with an email address in the email app, etc).

> 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).

I like this idea too.


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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