Text Messaging Application Design

Jon openmoko at snowulf.com
Sun Oct 21 00:08:31 CEST 2007

On 10/19/07, Bryan Copeland <bcopeld at gmail.com> wrote:
> At the risk of getting flamed as a newbie here, just thought I'd
> contribute my first suggestion for OpenMoko text/e-mail messaging.
> I've always desired a much more intuitive interface for accessing my
> messages than what is currently provided by the standard list scheme.
> Namely, I want to know which groups and which people are sending me the most
> e-mail/SMS messages, and be able to assign priorities as I often don't have
> time to answer all of my mail. Then, there is Spam & Junk Mail. Some of it I
> like to read, I have my favorites like College Humor, discount offers,
> contests and giveaways.
> What does everyone think of building upon the FOAF specs for a totally
> visual representation. Picture the " They Rule application<http://www.theyrule.net/2004/tr2.php>
> "< http://www.theyrule.net/2004/tr2.php> as seen in the attachment. You
> only need to add numbers to each person designating the number of unread
> emails in your inbox. Actually, you could display any number by switching
> one setting ("View by Read", "View by Unread", or "View by Importance").
> Also, this could get people into using the "Importance settings" that so
> often get neglected in the flat lists of Microsoft Outlook and other similar
> mail apps.
> Anyway, that's just a thought... but again, screen size may be an issue as
> the network or I should say "Address Book" grows to an unmanageable numbers.
> But that could potentially be countered by placing people in groups (like by
> business, school, etc...)
> Bryan Copeland

I'm sorry if this sounds stupid, but I'm completely confused by what you are
trying to say.  I think what you are trying to say is that you want a
picture for an "inbox" that shows the people and the number of messages from
them?  Am I getting the general gist right here?  That sounds like a fine
idea for email, but I'm not sure how that works for text messaging.

I can't vouch for anyone else else, but I have 4 basic groups of people in
my address book:  Work, Family, Friends, Companies.  The only group I text
message with at all, is my Friends. So for me, having a "group" view
wouldn't do me much good, because all the messages are from the same group.
Also at the same time, I don't have that many text messages that I can't
read them all.  I suppose having an "importance" filter isn't a half bad
idea, for those that do get lots of text messages.

So maybe if you explain your concept a little better from your personal
usage of text messaging, and how you see this "Graphical representation"
helping you use text messages more intuitively/efficiently?  For example
your attached picture (which I might add is a bit large, maybe a PNG/JPG/GIF
next time?) shows links to Merrill Lynch and AT&T Wireless.  Do you
regularly communicate with these groups (via Text messaging)?  Maybe you
might consider throwing something together in paint/gimp/photoshop that is
based on your personal experiences?  That way you can better explain it.


PS. I'm not trying to harsh your work here or anything, or "flame" you for
being a newbie (alot of us are newbies - heck I've only been writing on this
list for 3 days).  Everyones suggestions are good. You've suggested a
concept that I'd never even considered, I'm simply just trying to understand
your usage of it.
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