Re: Musings on the contacts user experience

Hi Dave,

On Fri, 2011-04-29 at 10:46 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.

What are some use cases for the set (favorites - frequent contacts)?

Thinking of Tomboy, which has both favorites and sorting by recency, I
have a couple items in that set, and they'd be better off the list
(they're only there because I added them as favorites a long time ago
and haven't removed them since). If I really want to reach those notes,
I can just search for them.

> 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.

We could/should do something like a PID controller [1] to factor in both
recency of communication and total volume in a smooth way. If you
suddenly communicate with someone a lot, they'll quickly rise in the
list. But they'll slowly drift down the list as time goes on (if you
don't maintain communication with them). I believe Telepathy Logger
already does something to this effect.

> > 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).



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