Text Messaging Application Design

Dave Neary dave.neary at wengo.com
Fri Oct 19 10:11:35 CEST 2007


Jon wrote:
> On 10/18/07, *Justin Wong* <stryderjzw at gmail.com
> <mailto:stryderjzw at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     I think what we need to do is start by doing some task analysis. We
>     should put away all the different preexisting mental models, such as
>     inboxes and other things, and focus on the tasks involved in a Text
>     Message application.
>  Two possible options is the "box & message"
> method (inboxes, outboxes, single messages) and the "thread" method. 
> There may be more options out there, but I can't think of any others off
> hand.

When we were considering how to handle SMS sending & receiving in the
Wengophone, we decided that SMSes were more like IM than email. And so
we wanted to present SMS discussions as IM chats rather than threaded
emails, or individual documents.

If the chat was still open (of course, in a softphone this is easier -
you could use a time delay, say <1h, to make this more intuitive in a
cellphone environment) then new SMS messages were simply to be presented
as the next line of the chat dialog. If the chat had been closed in the
meantime, it was considered to be a new discussion, and was stored as
such in the history.

Unfortunately there are technical constraints for receiving SMS messages
when you don't have a SIM card, and so the functionality isn't (yet)
being worked on for now. But perhaps this way of thinking about SMS
messages will help inform your design.


Dave Neary
OpenWengo Community Development Manager
Email: dave.neary at wengo.com
Tel: +33 9 51 13 46 45
Mob: +33 6 28 09 73 11

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