Opened 10 years ago

Last modified 10 years ago

#9417 new enhancement

Usability Improvement

Reported by: chjunior Owned by: deryni
Milestone: Component: pidgin (gtk)
Version: 2.5.6 Keywords:
Cc: mpt

Description

Pidgin should provide a feedback when a new contact was added.

See the first Nielsen Heuristic:

http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html

Change History (15)

comment:1 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

  • Status changed from new to pending

When a new contact is added to the list, the user has virtually always initiated the action themselves and is thus aware of the change. Furthermore newly added contacts should have the signing-on open door icon for a few seconds after being added. I'm not sure what else you are expecting or wanting, nor am I sure what benefit you expect this extra notification to gain you. Would you care to explain?

comment:2 Changed 10 years ago by chjunior

  • Status changed from pending to new

I'll explain using an example of a situation that happened to me yesterday. I added a new contact, which was offline or even just didn't accept me at the same time. Since I'm not showing offline people, and also, the group which I added him was collapsed, after I click "Add" no action occurred, so I didn't know if the Add operation was successful or not.

comment:3 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

  • Status changed from new to pending

Yes, and what would you rather pidgin have done? Temporarily expanded the group to show them to you (even though you told pidgin to collapse the group)? Show them to you even though they are offline (even though you have chosen not to show offline buddies)? Do both of those things in direct contradiction to two things you have told pidgin to do? Something else entirely?

comment:4 Changed 10 years ago by chjunior

  • Status changed from pending to new

Maybe just a small dialog saying that the buddy was successfully added. Is it a problem?

comment:5 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

  • Status changed from new to pending

So you want to be required to dismiss a popup dialog for a successful action? Most people *hate* dialogs that do nothing but confirm that something completed successfully. I know I would hate that dialog. Also, would that dialog only show up when the buddy is offline or in a collapsed group or would it show up all the time? If it shows up all the time then it is horrendously annoying, and if it only shows up some of the time it is confusing and annoying.

I'm not trying to sound like I'm just shooting your idea down, I just honestly don't think there's much that can be done to make this better that doesn't come with some cost as well.

comment:6 Changed 10 years ago by chjunior

  • Status changed from pending to new

If the behavior change depending on the status of the added buddy, then we would be going against the fourth heuristic, "Consistency and standards".

Maybe use a message just like that when someone add you is good enough instead of a dialog popping up.

It's good to discuss and argue to find a better solution for this.

comment:7 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

  • Status changed from new to pending

Right, so we can rule out anything that works differently depending on what the buddies status is, what the groups status is, etc.

A message where? pidgin doesn't currently display transient messages. We could use the mini-dialog space in the buddy list (where we currently display either the mail notifications or the authorization requests) but those would still require manual dismissal and gets us back to the confirming success issue.

Even if pidgin had transient message support like what the guifications and libnotify plugins add I would hesitate to use them for that because it would severly diminish the importance associated with those notifications (people can currently somewhat reasonably assume that *something* of interest has happened when one of those plugins creates a notification popup, if we started notifying for simple successes like this that would no longer be a reasonable assumption).

As always, I'm open to further ideas but I really think we are trying to solve something that is essentially a non-issue.

comment:8 Changed 10 years ago by mpt

One possibility would be to show, scroll to, and highlight any newly-added buddy in the Buddy List for a few seconds, regardless of whether "Show Offline Buddies" is on. Then the buddy could disappear if they are offline and "Show Offline Buddies" is turned off.

comment:9 Changed 10 years ago by chjunior

  • Status changed from pending to new

I liked it. To describe better, this would be the flux:

  1. User add a new buddy
  2. The "Add Buddy" window is closed after the user click on "Add" button
  3. Pidgin scroll to the added user, even if it's offline and pidgin isn't showing offline users *
  4. The group of the new added buddy is expanded, if collapsed
  5. The new added buddy entry blinks for a few seconds
  6. The group returns to the original state (collapse or remain expanded)
  7. The new added buddy disappear if needed
  • Only the new added buddy will appear if pidgin isn't showing offline users and it's offline. An exception.

comment:10 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

Do any of the official clients do anything at all resembling this? Do any other third-party clients do anything like this? I've never heard of it if they have. Which makes me wonder how much of an issue this really is. Proposing that we randomly (because that's how it will appear to users, even once they understand it) scroll around their buddy list while collapsing and uncollapsing things doesn't sound very friendly to me.

Imagine if the user tries to click on a buddy to start a message just as the offline buddy were to disappear, and worse, just as the group he was placed in collapses, the user is now going to click on who knows what buddy instead. (Granted this is an issue under normal circumstances as well with buddies logging in and signing off, but generally not groups at a time and not as a direct result of things the user themselves did.)

Consider also where we would scroll the buddy to? Simply into view? As close to the center as we can? Do we try to restore the previous scroll point after we do this?

I'm not convinced that the problem being solved here is greater than the potential harm solving it brings. I'm open to further discussion though.

comment:11 Changed 10 years ago by chjunior

Well, I do not disagree, but I also do not agree... Remove the step 6 is also great, like:

  1. User add a new buddy
  2. The "Add Buddy" window is closed after the user click on "Add" button
  3. Pidgin scroll to the added user, even if it's offline and pidgin isn't showing offline users *
  4. The group of the new added buddy is expanded, if collapsed
  5. The new added buddy entry blinks for a few seconds
  6. The new added buddy disappear if needed

Another great thing is to use libnotify for the job. Just like when someone become online, or send you a message... This latest one sounds better for me.

comment:12 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

I both like this better and like it less. I like it better in that it is less change and thus less confusing, but I like it less in that it rather explicitely ignores what the user has previously told pidgin to do.

The libnotify plugin could be extended to support notifications for when buddies are added if it does not support that already.

comment:13 Changed 10 years ago by mpt

It's not really accurate to say Pidgin would "randomly ... scroll around their buddy list"; it would happen immediately as soon as you had clicked the "Add" button, which should make it fairly obvious that it's happening because you clicked the "Add" button. Then it could revert to its exact previous scroll position once it had finished displaying the new contact.

comment:14 Changed 10 years ago by deryni

  • Owner set to deryni

I meant "random" in where it scrolled to, not that it scrolled at all, but I'm not convinced people would make that connection as easily as you think they would.

I'm also not certain that reverting is better than leaving the new scroll location, presumably some number of people would want to interact with the buddy they just added and would therefore get annoyed that we seemingly helped to scroll to that buddy and then immediately scrolled away.

The counter argument to that is what I've said previously that scrolling the buddy list out from under people is almost certainly going to annoy some users as well.

I think the short version of my thinking is that scrolling the buddy list without obvious direct instructions to do so is likely to be problematic as well as beneficial, and I'm not sure the benefits outweigh the problems (especially considering pidgin has never done this before).

I'm still really just not sure that there is a compelling issue that needs solving here at all, as I indicated before I don't know of any other IM client software that does this (though I would be more than happy to be shown some that do) nor am I aware of even a handful of complaints about this.

A plugin should be able to do this and I would be happy to help with it should help be needed. If a plugin can't do this currently I would be open to making it so that they can.

comment:15 Changed 10 years ago by chjunior

I still prefer to use notify to just tell the user that the request to add a new buddy was completed. Problem solved.

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