Text Messaging Application Design

Jon openmoko at snowulf.com
Tue Oct 23 03:18:43 CEST 2007

On 10/22/07, Bryan Copeland <bcopeld at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey Jon sorry about the mix-up,
> Agreed... image was huge, I have damn Gmail to thank for making me lazy.
> Basically you read me right, and I think it works for Text Messages and
> Email both. "Friends" is a really broad term, surely you must be able to
> group them a little further?
> For example, I don't mind sharing that in my MSN List I have the following
> groups of friends:
> -Acadia (University)
>    -->Still There
>    -->Alumni
> -Japan
> -IUJ
>    -->Still There
>    -->Alumni
> -Moncton
> -Halifax
> -Out West
> -Sony
> -Other Contacts
> It's useful because sometimes two friends in different groups have the
> same name, and I don't exactly memorize nicknames or handles, so it helps me
> understand who a message is coming from. Personally, I also like to keep all
> the groups closed until I receive messages then quickly snap the group open
> and message away... presenting a better, more intuitive view to that was my
> suggestion
> Of course, the great thing about MSN is that its simple to use, that's
> what really made it take off over other alternatives. So the ability to
> present a standard flat list view is also important. Maybe as Jon mentioned
> IM and Mobile Texting are best viewed as two entirely different concepts
> too. What does everyone think?
> Bryan


As for instant messaging - you are correct, I have a slightly more refined
groups.  I have "Goons" (which is most people), "Important" (duh) and
"Ladies" (duh).  At least for me, Text Messaging and Instant Messaging are a
bit different.   For example, of the 52 people in my address book on my
phone.  I text message only 6 of them on any regular basis (I mean that as
little as once every 3 months).  I would consider them all important friends
and wouldn't really break down the list any more.  Maybe it is because I'm
not a big text'r (I only have a 200msg/mo plan).  That probably explains why
I don't understand the need for "groups" in Text Messaging.  I would hazard
a guess that if I was a 16 year old girl and was sending/receiving 7K text
messages a month, I'd want to know if certain people contacted me more
("Best friends forever") more than others ("girlfriend from class"?).

Even if we don't have a graphical view, and have a "thread" view, there is
nothing wrong with the idea of grouping contacts, and having certain groups
show up top before other messages.  Maybe color coded threads?  More
important = Brighter colors?

There might also be a discussion for the PIM application itself in here, the
ability to store metadata (like grouping users).  That way you can configure
the "weight" (or importance) of groups.  Regardless, before we get too much
into that - probably should take the convo back into the mailing list.

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