Attention button (branch of Use case for per-protocol icons)

shellreef at shellreef at
Thu Aug 9 01:30:46 EDT 2007

On 8/7/07, Hylke Bons <h.bons at> wrote:
> Attached a mockup with an additional "Attention!" button, that takes the
> protocol in my mind.
> It can also be placed in the "Insert" menu.
I like this. For comparison, I researched how the attention-like
functionality is currently implemented in various places. Here is how
it is done (skip to below if you just want to see what this means):

Yahoo Buzzes
Official client:
- Click buzz button (starred exclamation mark) in conversation window
- "BUZZ!!!" appears in red in conversation window, window shakes. Same
whether send or receive.
- Type /buzz
- "X has just sent you a Buzz!" when receiving
- "You have just sent a Buzz!" when sending

MSN Nudges
Official client:
- Click buzz button (a buzzed smiley) in conversation window
- "You have just sent a nudge", window shakes.
- "X has just sent you a nudge", window shakes
- Type /nudge
- "You have just sent a Nudge!"
- "X just sent you a Nudge!"

Official client:
- Click zap button (a lightning bolt), click dropdown to select which
kind of zap
- Sending plays a sound appropriate for the zap, then shows *** <icon>
<X>ing...! *** in conversation window, where X is the kind of zap
(zapping, torching, etc.)
- Receiving plays the same sound, but shows *** (icon) You've been <X>ed! ***
- Conversation -> More -> Zap -> select kind of zap, or right-click ->
Zap -> select zap
- *** <X>ing! ***
- *** You have been <X>ed! ***
For what kind of zaps there are, see

One important thing to notice about all these attention-getting
schemes is that they are out-of-band from the normal flow of
conversation. But Pidgin's /nudge and /buzz commands are not--you have
to clear what you're typing and replace it with /nudge or /buzz if you
want to get someone's attention. So Hylke's proposed Attention! button
would fix this problem.

In msimprpl, I added zap support via the actions menu, but this takes
too much menuing around to send a zap. Nesting menus 4 clicks deep is
way too much. The right-click actions menu in the buddy list to send a
zap is only 2 deep, but it is not readily accessible from within a

If Hylke's attention button could change into a drop-down for menu for
msimprpl's zaps, allowing you to select which zap to send, then that
would bring zapping down to just 1 menu. Sean's placing of Attention
in the File menu would take more clicks, but fewer than currently with
the actions menu I have in msimprpl. I'm all for this UI improvement.

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