Skype... aligned with spaces?



  • I just noticed this in a Skype for Business conference call:

    0_1491401490134_upload-46f9b051-456c-4f72-a0f5-9da268054a09

    I am somewhat used to newbie web editors and pupils using spaces to align text in their documents, but an IM client?



  • @AlexMedia I'm wondering why they consider "External Network" more important than the person's name.



  • @hungrier Given the number of times I get into internal conferences with people I've never heard of before, if there was an external client of my company thrown in the lot I wouldn't be able to know it easily from the name. So it's not totally stupid to make that information clearly visible.

    (I'm not using Skype at work so I don't have any specific experience of that)



  • @remi Right, but "Cle... External Network" conveys less useful information than "Cletus Jones - Ext..."


  • :belt_onion:

    @hungrier said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @remi Right, but "Cle... External Network" conveys less useful information than "Cletus JonesClueless Client - Ext..."

    FTFY


    Filed under: #bored, #hashtag



  • @hungrier You're right.

    If I had been designing this I might have gone for some icon or other visual indication rather than the full text, but this interface already has a lot of icons everywhere so this might not be the wisest (and anyway, like most developers, I'm crap at UI).



  • @remi if I were designing this, I would make it two lines. Simple and effective!



  • Usual reminder for this type of thing, "Skype for Business" is a different product than Skype. Skype for Business used to be Lync, which used to be Office Communicator.



  • @Gąska And a waste of vertical space. You don't need to see the full "external network" string, a smaller visual reminder should be enough.

    But anyway, that's UI, it's not solved by discussing about what would look nicer, but by testing with users... (which is why most developers are bad at UI, they either don't like interacting with users, or don't like admitting that users are better than they are at something !)



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    they either don't like interacting with users, or don't like admitting that users are better than they are at something !

    I don't. They're not. :trolleybus:

    Filed under: I'm even better at being stupid and stubborn if it comes down to that.



  • @cvi Let me guess, you also think git is the best thing evar? :fire:


  • BINNED

    Aligned with spaces, eh? Here's some stuff from two asp:buttons that I've just found

    Text="     > Broker     "
    

    and

    Text="> Policyholder"
    

    *sigh*



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @cvi Let me guess, you also think git is the best thing evar? :fire:

    Since I'm just an (occasional) user of git, it's clear that I'm in no way qualified to have an opinion on that. I'll leave such questions to the developers of git. Not that they would want my opinion anyway, as getting it would probably fall under the category of "interaction with users".



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @Gąska And a waste of vertical space.

    There's scrollbar.



  • @Gąska That's no reason to waste space (plus there is a thing called "the fold"...).

    If I could be bothered to anonymize it enough, I'd share with you a screenshot of Outlook-the-application vs. Outlook-the-web-page, just to show that the web version does exactly what you suggest and as a result I can only see 3-4 mails at once while the desktop application puts the same info on one line instead, allowing me to see double that at once. And the few times I've got to use the web version, I hate it for that.



  • @remi I configured my Outlook to show both subject and first line of message for each email in inbox. It took about 2cm vertical space each. Didn't bother me too much. And I've received about 50-100 mails everyday (excluding those I didn't read).

    To me, people complaining about wasted space due to TMI are much like people complaining there's too many brands of ketchup in the shop and they can't decide.



  • @Gąska said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    To me, people complaining about wasted

    Fake edit: :hanzo:'d by the rest of the post



  • @Gąska said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @remi I configured my Outlook to show both subject and first line of message for each email in inbox. It took about 2cm vertical space each. Didn't bother me too much. And I've received about 50-100 mails everyday (excluding those I didn't read).

    Depends how you use your email, I guess. Me, I like seeing a lot of emails at once and then open only the one that I'm currently interested in, so I get a more complete view of things by seeing more messages at once (i.e. not using 2cm per message). For me, the first line of a message is also almost totally useless since it is generally "hi" or similar, so showing it is wasted space.

    To me, people complaining about wasted space due to TMI are much like people complaining there's too many brands of ketchup in the shop and they can't decide.

    I'll let people more versed in UI and usability answer to that, but essentially, I'd say that's bullshit.



  • @remi I agree that seeing more than you need isn't useful and limits how many interesting things you can see at once. But it isn't even half as annoying as having too little information shown. So in this regard, I think the best way to go is to show more by default and add option to hide it.

    Be careful with depending on experienced UI designers - after all, it's the top UI designers of the world who came up with this minimalist look'n'feel of modern web browsers, and Office ribbon.



  • @Gąska said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    Be careful with depending on experienced UI designers - after all, it's the top UI designers of the world who came up with this minimalist look'n'feel of modern web browsers, and Office ribbon.

    That might go into the unpopular opinions thread, but I don't have too many issues with the UI of my browser (Opera, can't speak for others), nor with the ribbon.

    If the "minimalist" UI of my browser means there is more space for the content, as long as I still have the address bar and list of tabs (which I have), it's OK. There are other things that I dislike in my browser, but the overall look&feel of the UI isn't really one.

    The ribbon might not be the "best" solution (but what is, and solution to what problem exactly anyway?), but I find it easier to navigate around than the hodge-podge of toolbars and menus with submenus that it replaced. Sure, it's been abused in some cases (including in Office itself), but do I really need to find again the UI Hall of Shame to prove that anything can be abused? If we're talking Office, I've got more hate for the replacement of the "File" menu by something that replaces all the screen I'm working on. It's OK for "New", but totally useless for "Save as...", "Print" etc.


  • sockdevs



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    the web version

    Is far more robust than the desktop one.



  • I don't think it's using space characters. If you notice, the short-enough names (such as the fourth one) show that the icons have a minimum "left" alignment, but it allows longer names to push it past that alignment.

    Still not a good UI design though, as @hungrier has already said.



  • @RaceProUK Yes. Too bad it hasn't been updated in ages, but there are some... "creative" solutions in there.

    The Mountain Menus on the tabbed dialogs page (grr, couldn't they have put some anchors for each item of the list? Here is one more bad UI!) is interesting as it is a kind of proto-ribbon!



  • @xaade said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    the web version

    Is far more robust than the desktop one.

    Dunno, I've never had any stability issues with the desktop version. Might be because of the version we use (2010), or that our admins have set reasonable defaults, but I can do more things with it than with the web app and it always works as expected (which isn't always how I'd like it to work, but it's no worse than the web app in that regard).



  • @remi Mine silently disconnects, and all you get is that little status bar that I never look at, to remind you that it's not connected.

    "No, I didn't see an email from..... FUCK!"



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    For me, the first line of a message is also almost totally useless since it is generally "hi" or similar, so showing it is wasted space.

    Except Outlook doesn't just show the first line...

    0_1491575884704_upload-cab7db34-695c-414a-b2b5-d267a94aa95d
    becomes
    0_1491575895656_upload-800abf1a-630a-49ee-b6cf-36db53c58ca6

    (it's not the best example but it saved me bothering to redact bits)



  • @xaade said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @remi Mine silently disconnects, and all you get is that little status bar that I never look at, to remind you that it's not connected.

    Mine does that as well, but when that happens it's because I've lost network entirely, so not really Outlook's fault.



  • @remi

    I'm not saying it's outlook's fault that I lost connection.

    I'm saying that the desktop outlook doesn't give you much in notification.



  • @xaade Most applications don't notify you either, so I don't see that as much as a fault of Outlook. But to each his own, I guess.



  • @remi Outlook is one of those applications that don't make sense at all if they're offline. Even fucking Steam lets you know with a popup that you're offline! Surely it's not too much to ask for a notification in tray area?



  • @Gąska Arguably, I can do a lot with my mailer when being offline, such as reading mails, writing answers, looking at attachments (if only people could stop sending >50MB PPT in attachment...). A mail is not an IM, if it only gets sent (or received) a couple of minutes later when the network comes back, I don't care. Plus there is a different icon in the notification area. I agree that having a desktop notification would be a nice addition (although when the IT is playing with their switches I wouldn't really like to get a notification every 5s, but that's not a normal situation anyway), but to me that's not a huge fault.

    OTOH, I can do much less with my browser while offline (apart from reading the page currently displayed) and I haven't seen any browser that actually notifies me when I'm offline. There isn't even a notification icon or anything, it's just the browser waiting and waiting and sometimes timing out. So browsers are miles worse than Outlook in that regard.

    IM clients are no better either, at least Lync and Skype. The presence indicators change color, yes, but that's the same as the notification icon for Outlook, and there is absolutely no indication of a network failure in the chat windows (in an audio/video conversation, you tend to notice quite quickly that there was a failure, so it's less an issue).

    One exception is some "smart" site (individual sites, not the browser itself!) such as :no_entry::baby: that indeed try to notify you when loosing network... in the case of :baby:, it doesn't need a network issue to not work and randomly decides that it has lost network as soon as it has to wait for more than half a second to get a connection, so I get the toaster so often that I usually ignores it.

    I'm guessing the Outlook web app must be in that category as well, otherwise @xaade comment wouldn't make sense, but I don't use enough to have seen it myself. So yeah, that might be something that the web app does slightly better than the desktop one, but that's really minor for me.



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    OTOH, I can do much less with my browser while offline (apart from reading the page currently displayed) and I haven't seen any browser that actually notifies me when I'm offline.

    Browsers don't need internet connection until you click a link. And when you do, they notify you immediately with an error page. Email client is supposed to download mails without user interaction, so unlike web browser, there's no action to respond to with an error - so the client has to be proactive about checking connection and informing user about any problems.

    @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    IM clients are no better either, at least Lync and Skype. The presence indicators change color, yes, but that's the same as the notification icon for Outlook, and there is absolutely no indication of a network failure in the chat windows

    Yes, they're terrible too. But it's no justification for Outlook being terrible.

    Fun fact: it seems that again, Steam is better designed than corporate solutions, because its IM module does inform you in the chat window if you're offline.



  • @Gąska said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    Email client is supposed to download mails without user interaction, so unlike web browser, there's no action to respond to with an error - so the client has to be proactive about checking connection and informing user about any problems.

    Which they (Outlook, at least, since that's what we're talking about) do by showing a different notification icon and status bar if you're inside the application.

    Yes, they could do more, but on the other hand they don't need to be connected all the time and on flaky connections that keep dropping/coming back, a mailer should work more or less seamlessly and you don't really want it to keep spamming you with notifications ("hey, I'm offline!" "oh, nevermind, it came back" "oh no, gone again!" "wait wait, actually it's OK...").

    What might make sense is a notification that only shows after some prolonged interruption (something like a couple of minutes), unless you do something that requires immediate connection (such as sending a mail). It could also do with a more visible notification inside the main window itself (I don't know which part of the application people look at the most, for me it's the list of messages so that's where I would add e.g. a banner, but this would need testing as some other people might look more at the folder list or someplace else).

    And, in any case, I just tested and the Outlook web app is not even close to the desktop app in that regard. If I disconnect the network, the web app does... nothing. Nothing at all changes. My presence indicator and stays green (in the desktop app they all turn grey), and trying to open a mail shows a blank area, no "working" indicator, no "network lost" indicator, nothing.

    So I stand by my initial point, I don't see anything on which the desktop app is worse than the web app.



  • @loopback0 said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    For me, the first line of a message is also almost totally useless since it is generally "hi" or similar, so showing it is wasted space.

    Except Outlook doesn't just show the first line...

    0_1491575884704_upload-cab7db34-695c-414a-b2b5-d267a94aa95d
    becomes
    0_1491575895656_upload-800abf1a-630a-49ee-b6cf-36db53c58ca6

    (it's not the best example but it saved me bothering to redact bits)

    ITYM:

    0_1491583143904_upload-eb98581b-6643-49d7-bbd7-d40f3d10f35e



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    Which they (Outlook, at least, since that's what we're talking about) do by showing a different notification icon and status bar if you're inside the application.

    They're barely visible. On Windows 10, a proper notification is the size of a credit card, and has slide-in animation and accompanying sound, and shows on top of all other windows. Whereas tray icon is the size of water drop, is either completely static or has a couple pixels blinking, and is hidden by default. The icon on status bar is even smaller, but at least not hidden.



  • @Gąska Granted. I never said a notification wouldn't be better (but I said that it would have to be smarter than just popping up at every single network change as that would likely be very annoying).

    I still have to be shown in which way the web app handles that better than the desktop app, which was the initial argument. At the moment, I've seen a vaguely adequate, if somewhat muted, behavior from the desktop app, versus a complete ignorance of the fact that there is a thing called network for the web app.



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    OTOH, I can do much less with my browser while offline (apart from reading the page currently displayed) and I haven't seen any browser that actually notifies me when I'm offline. There isn't even a notification icon or anything, it's just the browser waiting and waiting and sometimes timing out.

    Chrome has the dinosaur page (and endless runner game) that IME shows up right away if Chrome detects that you have no internet connection



  • @hungrier oh, that's better than Opera, Firefox or IE, they all do strictly nothing...



  • @remi both Chrome's dinosaur and Opera's wall of text show under the same circumstances.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Gąska said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    Surely it's not too much to ask for a notification in tray area?

    Sure. It's looks something like this:

    0_1491624708597_upload-12efeb7e-64cc-4367-bd45-fafa5002db80

    Or, if that's too new, maybe this:

    0_1491624813343_upload-84e61890-4ae4-4115-bed9-f21c5720e6a9



  • @Gąska hang on, are you talking about a page that shows when you click a link? If so, yes, of course they all have something. But we were talking initially of something that monitors the connection at all time and notifies you before you're doing anything. I don't know about chrome, but the other browsers don't do anything in that case.



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    OTOH, I can do much less with my browser while offline (apart from reading the page currently displayed)

    Fun fact: properly designed HTML5 applications are supposed to be fully functional while offline.

    This would probably work better if browsers offered any indication whatsoever that a site has that capability.



  • @anonymous234 and also if they offered any indication that they are offline, like, I don't know, mailers? :tropical_fish:



  • @anonymous234 said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    indication whatsoever that a site has that capability

    It doesn't. The end user experience tracking won't work without an internet connection, if nothing else.



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    @Gąska hang on, are you talking about a page that shows when you click a link? If so, yes, of course they all have something. But we were talking initially of something that monitors the connection at all time and notifies you before you're doing anything. I don't know about chrome, but the other browsers don't do anything in that case.

    Does Chrome do anything before you click a link while offline? If so, it must be a new addition and one more reason not to use it.

    A few posts ago I explained why it's OK for browsers not to constantly monitor connection, but not for email clients.



  • @Gąska said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    A few posts ago I explained why it's OK for browsers not to constantly monitor connection, but not for email clients.

    Which is exactly how both currently behave (i.e. browsers don't and mailers do monitor), so it seems we're in violent agreement about the current behaviour being OK.

    The only difference we have is about whether the monitoring by mailers should be more intrusive, and I admit that having an option to have more visible notifications might be useful for some users (but as I said, having mandatory notifications for each connectivity change would be worse than the current situation in some cases).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @anonymous234 said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    Fun fact: properly designed HTML5 applications are supposed to be fully functional while offline.

    TIL. The HTML5 apps I've written didn't make sense without network access.



  • @remi said in Skype... aligned with spaces?:

    If the "minimalist" UI of my browser means there is more space for the content, as long as I still have the address bar and list of tabs (which I have), it's OK.

    Shitty minimalistic mobile browsers don't even have a "view source" button.



  • @wharrgarbl I don't browse on mobile so my comments didn't apply to that. And even if I did, it's already hard enough to read a normal web page on that tiny screen when I can see 3 words max at a time, so reading page source would be even worse. So it might be an issue for you, but definitely not for me.


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