Amazing new interface

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The_Tick
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Post by The_Tick »

zforrester wrote:
The_Tick wrote:I've never been a fan of proteus. Just to clear that up.

edit: Both projects are not open source as of yet.
Sorry man, I thought you were... you're active in the proteus community at least, sorry.

Man, by the time this is over, the whole Adium team is gonna hate me. I have foot in mouth disease. It's not pleasant.
Nah, we're not going to hate you.

I'm active on the proteus forums because there's a vested interest in at least seeing them either come back to die off. I'd like them to stop screwing over their users and just get stuff out there.

I dislike proteus because of my first post on the old forums actually. I was so aggravated with what was suggested that I searched out an alternative and found Adium. The community was pleasant to work with, and actually responsive/understanding. So what bgannin said was true.

That was 4+ years ago :)
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Post by zforrester »

The_Tick wrote: Nah, we're not going to hate you.

I'm active on the proteus forums because there's a vested interest in at least seeing them either come back to die off. I'd like them to stop screwing over their users and just get stuff out there.

I dislike proteus because of my first post on the old forums actually. I was so aggravated with what was suggested that I searched out an alternative and found Adium. The community was pleasant to work with, and actually responsive/understanding. So what bgannin said was true.

That was 4+ years ago :)
Ha. Epic.

Basically, I just want to create such demand that we shock the devs into action, particularly releasing the source code. I think that's the really the only way the project can move on.

Anyways, I've released a few updated mockups, as well as an icon and a teaser poster. If you don't feel like going to the Proteus forums, check out my flickr stream here
http://flickr.com/photos/iamzachforrester/
Love to hear peoples reactions!
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evands
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Post by evands »

bgannin, I love it when you get protective :)

I think that an important reason that this is totally fine in the Adium forums is that what zforrester is proposing is probably not something which Adium would do, at least not in several of the more important aspects of his veryi interesting mock-up.

I would definitely far prefer for Proteus to build on the open source foundation of libpurple to produce something wholly unique than for it to continue in its current direction, which effectively produces something significantly like Adium but <biased>slower, less attractive, less supported, less polished, and less intuitive</biased>. I hope that these discussions lead to a new project effort with new innovations.

'course, I think that given all that, the wise move for someone looking to implement this would be to produce a new interface plugin + contact list plugin for Adium, either in-trunk or in a friendly fork. The hooks are all there, with the exception of the 'smart groups' feature which doesn't yet exist in any client and so needs to be written somewhere.
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Post by revolution »

I actually really like the concepts behind some of these mock-ups. I'm not sure which one I prefer. I like the idea of being able to see contacts at all times, as a lot of info comes in from the status messages of my friends, but the Safari style interface does look good and certainly makes a lot of sense to me.
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Post by df0notfound »

This is about the mockup in the 1st post of this thread. Not Rawr
Ok before we start I'm a massive fan of simplicity and modernism so I'm all for keeping things simple and minimalist.

However to me these single window designs are the exact opposite. With a chat client you spend around 99% of your time using the chat function rather than the contact list, you only really go there to initiate a chat (2-50 times a day I'd imagine for most users) which takes 1-5 seconds at most. This is nothing compared to the hours and hours people actually spend chatting.
If we consider this then does it actually make any sense to bolt an interface you use such a fractional amount of time to the side of the window?

A single window design on the Mac for a chat client seems completely wrong to me. One thing macs are excellent at is window management, leaps and bounds ahead of Windows (ironically). On windows a single window interface makes more sense because if you have ever seen a (non computer savvy) windows msn user they have every chat window and the contact list maximised on their 20inch+ screen.
Then you see a savvy user and they have every window maximised but msn, and still have to dig to find it.

When chatting most people have 1-8 tabs I would imagine, so the interface is focused on these people and their replies. Tabs its the equivalent of having the 5 letters on your desk you need to reply to, and then your address book in the drawer. With this source list tabbing+contact list combo is the equivalent of your address book on your desk with recent letters stuffed in it on the page of that users address. The cognitive load of finding the user to reply to is much higher when you have to scan a list of 50-200 people rather than 8.

People can recognise a shape and then the colour of something 100s of times faster than they can even read a word. Icons are just plain better than buttons for history/send file etc. With the stlye you have gone for there is a nice opportunity for 3 small white icons where the history button is instead.

File transfer accept dialog is too intrusive, msn users like to throw about 6 files at you one after another because of the in line file transfer meters. And the transfer panel takes up too much room for the same reasons. Change the icon size to 24, use the right aligned text style like you can in finder for the icon label, drop the % done and align the speed to the right of the progress bar which you should switch for a smaller variant. Include a cancel button.
Actually drop the full on transfer accept message and just slide up the transfer bar with an accept button.

Again trying to shoehorn chat into the interface concepts of iTunes and Safari seems like a bad idea because both were built from the ground up for their task not ours.
Last edited by df0notfound on Mon May 14, 2007 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The_Tick
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Post by The_Tick »

df0notfound wrote:If we consider this then does it actually make any sense to bolt an interface you use such a fractional amount of time to the side of the window?
You're aware that in the Rawr mockups (the ones Iser and I came up with) that the sidebar/source list is a tabs replacement right? Most of your argument seems to boil down to this point, so I wanted to make sure you hadn't misinterpreted the mockup.
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Post by revolution »

@df0notfound, I think you are mis-understanding the whole idea that is trying to be presented here.

This is how I understand the whole idea, and I think it makes perfect sense.

In the first image posted by Crypt you can see a "contact list". The folders on the left are the group names, and within them are the contacts. Double clicking on a contact moves you to the second image.

The message view. On the left are the tabs to move between your chats. To get back to the buddy list you click on the little Adiumys at the end of the bar on the toolbar.

The toolbar, acts as a bookmark bar does in a browser. With a few key contacts, say family and a couple of friends. Maybe a couple of key groups, like housemates etc.

It makes perfect sense to me. I don't need to see my whole contact list all the time. I always have a few chats open, usually to the same people, in this case those on the "bookmarks bar". Most of the chats I start are begun by clicking on the Growl notification when they log on, not through the contact list. I do use the contact list, but usually to see if the people I talk to most are online, occasionally the others, so when you initially logon can view the contact list. To me containing it all to one window would be great, takes up less screen estate and won't get lost looking for a contact list.
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Post by bgannin »

There's 100% no hatin' going on :)

I 100% respect trying to reinvigorate the project, and trying new UI concepts (UI is one of the first and most important aspects in a program in my not so humble opinion)

I applaud and encourage you to continue zforrester.
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Post by zforrester »

bgannin wrote:There's 100% no hatin' going on :)

I 100% respect trying to reinvigorate the project, and trying new UI concepts (UI is one of the first and most important aspects in a program in my not so humble opinion)

I applaud and encourage you to continue zforrester.
Thanks man, I appreciate that.

Now, onto the criticism
df0notfound wrote: The cognitive load of finding the user to reply to is much higher when you have to scan a list of 50-200 people rather than 8.
If you'll notice in the first round of screenshots, the contact list has a Smart Group called New Messages, which will automatically collect contracts you are currently conversing with, so you only see the ones that are important to you.
df0notfound wrote: File transfer accept dialog is too intrusive, msn users like to throw about 6 files at you one after another because of the in line file transfer meters. And the transfer panel takes up too much room for the same reasons.
Thats a good point, and something I hadn't thought of. Personally, I usually have my IM set to auto-accept files from contacts, so this wouldn't be a problem for me. Someone on manual-accept, however, is still going to have to click accept for every transfer they receive, so I don't really see how this is that much worse than having a window pop every time.

As for the transfer panel, I agree. It is too large. I'm thinking of removing transfers from the conversation window entirely, and giving them there own separate area in Proteus... I'll bang out a mock up to illustrate this later.
df0notfound wrote: People can recognise a shape and then the colour of something 100s of times faster than they can even read a word. Icons are just plain better than buttons for history/send file etc. With the stlye you have gone for there is a nice opportunity for 3 small white icons where the history button is instead.
Well, I already touched on this subject, over on the Proteus forum (which is part of the reason I wanted folks to post over there), so I'll just copy and paste my response here, for convenience
zforrester wrote: We're talking four, very basic words here. I think localization shouldn't be too tricky. Yes, it's an extra step, but I've always felt that stylized tool buttons never match seamlessly with Apple's iconography. Take a look at Process, Coda, the current Proteus even, and you'll see what I mean. All beautiful apps, but their icons present different aesthetics, deviating from Apple's. Sure this helps to distinguish them visually, and make them unique, but is that worth striving for? Don't we want a OSX and Proteus to be seamless?
You make some great points though, and I'll play around with implementing some of them.

I think the best way to defend a single window layout is to say fire up proteus, and double click on all, or a bunch of your contacts, then close the contact window. Your message centre, with the drawer, should now be the only Proteus window up, and is more or less operating the same way I expect these mockups to run.

Try it.
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Post by Crypt »

Heh i don't really know which thread to reply to you in zforrester. So I'll stick with what I've been doing in the proteus forums and any new development mentioned here I'll discuss guess.
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Post by zforrester »

Crypt wrote:Heh i don't really know which thread to reply to you in zforrester. So I'll stick with what I've been doing in the proteus forums and any new development mentioned here I'll discuss guess.
thanks, i appreciate it... keeps things a lot more simple for me
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