[JDEV] Jabber Client Design Tutorial

Michael Brown michael at aurora.gen.nz
Tue Sep 25 04:12:42 CDT 2001

Re: http://www.aurora.gen.nz/jabber_design

Peter, thanks for the reply, but I was hoping for something a bit more
helpful.  There seems to be a large amount of people who are prepared to
stand up and say "This looks like the ICQ interface which is Bad" but there
are more productive ways to comment.  If you are going to take the time to
disagree with something, at least state some reasons:

Why do you prefer an IM interface that is more akin to an email client?
(this is one that has always baffled me I have to admit)  What advantages
does it have?

What don't you like about ICQ?  What would you prefer?

I am not advocating that you rush out and change WinJab.  Sharing any
lessons learnt along the way may be helpful for other client authors

I may have worded the introduction badly, but I had thought I had made it
clear that this document was my opinion on what I thought an ideal UI would
look like, and it was not intended to be all things to all people.  It is
specifically aimed at the Windows desktop for one.  Obviously there is a
need for different style clients.  I an not advocating that this is the
ideal layout for a client on a mobile phone for example.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Millard" <me at pgmillard.com>
To: <jdev at jabber.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2001 3:13 AM
Subject: Re: [JDEV] Jabber Client Design Tutorial

> Michael -
> I have lots to say about your "guideline" and some of it has already been
> said by Temas + Julian (which I agree) with.
> I have struggled a lot lately on various projects that related to GUI
> design, and really what a lot of it comes down to is what a specific
> likes best :) You obviously find the ICQ interface to an IM client easy to
> use and efficient, while some, like temas and I can't stand that kind of
> design. Others like AIM, and when I set out to design winjab for _myself_
> prefer'd something more akin to an email client. Much of my personal
> stems from the way that I use windows and what I wanted. I could really
> less what other people think of it and am continually astounded that so
> people continue to download it.
> I think variety is the spice of life, and what I read from your document
> (which is potentially not what you were trying to say) is this: All jabber
> clients should look like ICQ. I think this is of course bogus, since i
> stand that specific UI. I applaud you for making a client that looks and
> feels like ICQ for the other folks that share your opinions and really
> and love the ICQ UI. But IMO, there shouldn't be anything out there that
> even remotely "dictates" to the world what a jabber client should look
> For example, what about a javascript client? or a client thats embedded
> a frame of a web page, or just a console app?? Those types of applications
> imply a very different type of client that you've layed out. Perhaps you
> should re-label your doc "Making a jabber client for a drop-in replacement
> for ICQ" ??
> If you'd like me to go into more detail, please let me know...  I'd be
> to share what thoughts/designs I disagree with in your doc, but I thought
> I'd fire this off as more of an "general feel about UI design on clients".
> Peter Millard

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