Type message here... and Send button absence

Steven Brown steven.w.j.brown at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 17:08:46 EDT 2007

Marc Ferguson wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm curious as to what were the reasons some people gave you for
> needing a send button.  Also; the idea about putting default "starter"
> text in the input box is a great idea!

One person was basically used to using a Send button on MSN's official 
client, I think.  He said that he knew lots of people that the absence 
of the Send button drives crazy, as every non-mac client has this.  Not 
a very compelling, I know.

Some screenshots of MSN Live Messenger

Then my friend pointed out that mac clients usually have a single 
text-input line, which makes it more obvious that enter will 'propagate 
the text up' as one reason a Send button is not needed.  For multi-line 
inputs, this is not as obvious.  For most cases multi-line inputs 
appear, Enter inserts a line-break.  Web forms (can't get much more 
ubiquitous), for example.  But in the context of chatting, it obviously 
makes more sense to make Enter send the message and shift-Enter to 
insert line breaks, as that's less common.

These were comments on my blog: 

I think having the starter text solves both problems elegantly: 
completely justifying there being no Send button (I can't see anyone 
complaining about it when the UI is telling them how to Send), and the 
breaking consistency of multi-line inputs and the behaviour of the Enter 
key.  It also has the benefit of making it ridiculously obvious for a 
first time user how to chat when faced with an empty conversation window.

Since there seems to be a little interest, I'll file a bug/enhancement.  :)


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