Some UI ideas

Georgi Kirilov kirilov.georgi.s at
Mon Nov 5 14:34:23 EST 2007

Hi guys,
I would like to share with you couple of ideas that came to my mind
recently. I hope pidgin could benefit from them in terms of usability.

1. What about showing tooltip only for the selected buddy?
    Status, Away Message and Idle (optional) are already displayed in
  the listitems, and the additional information tooltips provide
  (Logged In, Account, Supports) is needed on somewhat rarer occasions.
  So it may be better to display tooltips only when one shows more
  explicit interest for a buddy, e.g. with selecting it.
    I know, hovering with the mouse is already an "interest" but it as
  well could be done unintentionally. Clicking is less likely to be done
  by mistake. So, the greater interest is manifested, the greater level
  of details is provided:
    1. Buddy Details in a listitem
    2. Tooltip
    3. User Info dialog
  To be honest, I'm addicted to staring at the buddylist and to move the
  mouse over and over it, and the constantly popping tooltips began to
  annoy me, so... I cooked up some complex arguments to convince you to
  make them stop making me crazy ;-)

2. Why not redistribute the fields to avoid duplication?
  Given the three aforementioned categories, we could classify each
  field in certain category:
    - Buddy Details:
      This is pretty good now, I don't think it needs changes.
      Here go Alias, Status, Status Message and Idle (if 'Idle Times'
      is on).
    - Tooltips:
      Here should go more technical, network related info such as
      Logged In, Idle (if 'Idle Times' is off), Last Known Client,
      Subscription, Supports and Status Message, for often it's quite long. 
      May be Status too. The status icon already gives that information,
      but in a visual manner.
    - Buddy Info:
      Here could be stored only information about the human behind the
      Buddy, i.e. First Name, Last Name, Age, Country, City, etc.
  Idle time in tooltips should be mutexed with Idle time in listitems -
  only one of them to be displayed, according to "Idle Times" option.

This approach is with levels of detailedness which provide mutually
exclusive information. There is another approach that comes to my mind,
in which higher levels include the lower ones and add more information.
I can't tell which is more suitable in our case, but I think I like the
first one more.

These are just couple of ideas for minimizing the duplicated information,
and information out of context. I would like to hear your opinion
and if it is positive, I could try to write a patch.

unsigned short letter;

More information about the Devel mailing list