Pidgin 2.1 UI Ideas (with mockups!)

Etan Reisner pidgin at
Tue Aug 7 00:01:31 EDT 2007

On Mon, Aug 06, 2007 at 11:27:48PM -0400, Andrew Roeder wrote:
> Personally I like having the constant icon size, just that the current 32x32
> is too small, I think at 50x50 its reasonable to say I can make out much
> easier what icons are displaying, even when they are shrunk from 96x96(which
> ofcourse is still displayed on mouseover, so it will be much easier when the
> information is displayed over buddy-icon-hovering.)

In my entirely un-scientific, and un-researched counts the number of
people who complain that the 32x32 buddy icon is too small and the number
of people who complain that the current infopane is too large are
approximately even. I think moving to having a 50x50 infopane is not a
particularly bad idea because the people who think the infopane is too big
will likely not mind the extra "too big"-ness of the 50x50 icons and the
32x32-is-too-small users will be made happier.

Given this though, I have been giving more weight to having the infopane
have similar 'show buddy details' settings like the buddy list does for
different sizes.

> I for one also love Steven's addition of a protocol(send to) icon in the
> infopane, it is visually appealing, shows you protocol information for a
> conversation at-a-glance, and much more user friendly than Send-to(I've
> personally had to explain to many users how to correctly use send-to, I
> would figure it'd be the same for everyone else.)

I think Sean's proposed on-hover expander arrow and a dropdown with
(potentially) full-sized infopanes for the sub-buddies is a better idea
than a simple protocol icon dropdown (which would require the
account/buddy name because protocol is not enough, as was pointed out in
that thread and accounted for).

> As I stated in another mailing list post and created my own mockup:
> Ofcourse in my mock-up, mainly I wanted to remove the descriptions of
> buttons, I still feel that they are not needed, if a user is unable to
> understand its purpose simply by picture, they will understand its purpose
> by clicking the button anyway, and then know from that point forward in
> their Pidgin experience.

Users have a tendency to be very skittish and afraid of new things, also
afraid of taking actions that they cannot determine the outcome of
beforehand. As such I think depending on people to bravely click buttons
that they may or may not immediately understand might be setting the bar a
bit too high.

> Infopane is rather empty now, but I quickly foresee it becomes crammed with
> relative information(Not a bad thing.) ;)

The infopane is not particularly empty unless your window is very wide, in
the smaller windows we have been working towards allowing there is rather
little wasted space in the infopane. (Like in Sean's blog post screenshot
for example .)


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