[JDEV] UI opinions..

Tim Lesher timl at epix.net
Fri Aug 6 07:49:18 CDT 1999

> > 4.  Kill the standard Window menu; use something that takes up less
> > space, like the ICQ button.
>    Not sure what you mean.

OK.  I'm looking at my Outlook Express window.  My menu bar contains seven
menu items:  File, Edit, et al.  These seven items take up only half the
width of the window, yet the Windows menu extends the entire width of the
window.  Now, for a "normal" app like Outlook Express, this isn't a bad
thing.  However, for an always-up messenger tool, window space is far more

As an alternative, look at the ICQ menu button or the Windows 95 "Start"
button.  They hide a menu and allow access via a button, saving a lot of
real estate.  I like that for small tools.

>    Also, it'd be nice if you could get a list of on-line users from
> the systray in a menu-style. Like just right click on the icon in the
> systray, go to the "roster" submenu or whatever and see what's there.

Hmm.... I like this.  What about, in the ubiquitous context menu you get by
right-clicking on the tray icon, one of the menu picks is a "Send Message To
>", which expands into your buddy list?  I know I would use that a lot--my
usual algorithm is "Oh, I need to tell Joe about xyzzy.  Restore AIM, find
Joe, double-click on Joe, send message, close message window, minimize AIM."
This could be reduced to "pick send, pick Joe, send message" if the message
window can be configured to close or minimize after this "quick send".

Tim Lesher
mailto:timl at epix.net

> > If there are extra gizmos like the AIM "Search the Web" bar, allow
> > the user to hide them.
>    Another must.
> > 5.  This is a little more out there, but skinnability a la WinAmp
> > would certainly attract a certain segment of the online crowd.
>    Igh. But yes, it would attract certain ppl, so as long as you can
> turn off skins and have it use your Windows/Mac/whatever colors
> instead, this would be ok.
>    Also, it'd be nice if you could get a list of on-line users from
> the systray in a menu-style. Like just right click on the icon in the
> systray, go to the "roster" submenu or whatever and see what's there.
> Clicking on someone's name in the menu could either do whatever the
> default double-click action in your roster window is (presumeably
> sending a message), or bring up a dialog with buttons to choose what
> to do, from send message, file send, or whatever options. You might
> make the tooltip for the icon include info like how many messages
> pending, how many users in your roster are on-line, how many have
> showed up/left since the prog was last unminimized, etc.
> On 5 Aug 99,, Jerrad Pierce sounded off on [JDEV] UI:
> > I have 3 better words: modular modular modular
> >
> > why should I even have to have the forsaken search bar, etc. In
> > memory if I'm not displaying it.
>    I agree completely -- However, making it modular as you've
> suggested is just one way of making it configurable -- A very good
> way, too. :)
> On 5 Aug 99,, Scott Robinson sounded off on Re: [JDEV] UI opinions..:
> > Microsoft had the right idea when it allowed users to just drag
> > and drop the buttons they liked onto the tool bar.
> >
> > Configurability with simplicity is the way everyone _wants_ to go,
> > but getting there seems to be the problem. Bars or menus? Both?
>    I agree; nothing I said goes against allowing you to simply drag
> and drop buttons (not that you said it did, but just to clarefy), in
> fact where I referred to a "graphical toolbar creation tool," I was
> thinking of things like allowing simple drag & drop rearrangement and
> such. But, it might be convenient to also have a central toolbar
> manager you can go to, and I want it to be extremely extensible, so I
> don't want it limited to a set of standard buttons, which is why I
> think it'd be good to specify buttons similarly to how I said.
> > While the ICQesque interface is generally agreed to be evil, that
> > is what the user expects.
>    Really? I find the interface of ICQ 98 quite nice. Then again, I
> wouldn't touch ICQ 99 with a 10 foot pole... Bloatware....
> > Skins? Customizable UI? If we wrote a standard (read portable)
> > Jabber client that supported radical modification of the UI with a
> > few nice defaults that we created, I would think this would solve
> > all our problems. You may say "but that would be to hard! Think of
> > all the code we'd have write to specialize the interface..."
>    This sounds like SUCH a good idea. I would love to see this
> happen...
> > When that Jabber install program boots up, its only question should
> > be "How do you want Jabber to look? ICQ/AIMesque? mIRCesqe? ..."
> > and etc.
>    Agreed. Optimally, it should also bring up screen shots when you
> click each one :)
> > As always, I'm officially "on crack" so anything I say can be
> > disregarded.
>    Hey, nice disclaimer...
> --
> "Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity,
>  and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them."
> --_Catch-22_, Joseph Heller
> Copyright 1999 Vivre Draco (cfc at paganpaths.org)
> excelsior ad infinitum -- http://www.paganpaths.org/~cfc/
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