Re: Musings on the contacts user experience

On Fri, 2011-04-29 at 09:30 -0500, Jonathon Jongsma wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-04-29 at 16:13 +0200, Alexander Larsson wrote:
> > My main fears in a setup like this is:
> > 
> > * Conceptually a "chat" app needs to be running all the time when you're
> > online (as you might get a message), but generally you don't want to see
> > it all the time. With us not having a "good" solution to minimize, and
> > not liking minimize-to-systray-icon we don't have a good way to
> > represent this "running in background" state. The one way to fit this
> > into the shell design is to just put the IM window on some other
> > desktop, but I think that might still be a bit too visible.
> This is not really true.  You can be online without having a chat
> application (e.g. empathy) running.  The connection managers will run in
> the background with no UI.  When a new chat message comes in,
> mission-control will dispatch it to the correct application (starting
> that application if necessary).  You just need something to tell
> mission-control to go online (or away, or whatever other status you
> want).  Right now this is handled by the empathy application, but it
> could easily be something that is built into the shell.  In this setup
> you have no issue with conceptual minimize issues.

Maemo 5 (N900)'s implementation is superb on this topic. You have a
dedicated chat application but you almost never use it. The normal flow
is to either click on a shortcut on the desktop, or type a name's first
letters directly at the desktop, and you can start a conversation right
away. Notification bubbles are very nicely integrated with the WM to shw
incoming messages and morph them into a conversation window as needed.

There's also a contact widget to be used by applications, in addition to
the address book which enables "advanced" operations (such as editing
contacts, merging, etc.).

Lots of thought has been poured in it apparently, and it looks hard to
do any better.


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