Google Talk, continued

25 Aug 2005 - 2:29pm
8 years ago
24 replies
974 reads
Chad Thornton
2005

> The mail wasnt meant as an commercial advertisement, it was meant as
> news/ raw-material for creating food for thought.. Any inconvenience
> caused is regretted.

With the same disclaimer in mind, I'll pitch in. I'm the designer for
Google Talk. I always like it when you can actually pester the designer
about some of the decisions they made, so if anyone has any comments,
questions, or suggestions, fire away. Can't promise I'll answer
everything -- tons and tons to do on Talk -- but I'll do what I can.

- Chad

Comments

25 Aug 2005 - 2:38pm
Shuli Gilutz
2004

Wow!
Thanks Chad.
My most urgent question - and I can see some of you out here frowning in a
second -
Why no emoticons?
Such a big part of IMing...

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:29 PM
To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

> The mail wasnt meant as an commercial advertisement, it was meant as
> news/ raw-material for creating food for thought.. Any inconvenience
> caused is regretted.

With the same disclaimer in mind, I'll pitch in. I'm the designer for Google
Talk. I always like it when you can actually pester the designer about some
of the decisions they made, so if anyone has any comments, questions, or
suggestions, fire away. Can't promise I'll answer everything -- tons and
tons to do on Talk -- but I'll do what I can.

- Chad

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription Options ...
http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home .......................
http://ixdg.org/

25 Aug 2005 - 2:40pm
Lilly Irani
2004

Yeah, and why have you taken away my ability to:
*lambast Chad*
by bolding with asterisks? :)

Congrats on the launch, Chad .

On 8/25/05, Shuli Gilutz <sgilutz at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Wow!
> Thanks Chad.
> My most urgent question - and I can see some of you out here frowning in a
> second -
> Why no emoticons?
> Such a big part of IMing...
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
> com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:29 PM
> To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> > The mail wasnt meant as an commercial advertisement, it was meant as
> > news/ raw-material for creating food for thought.. Any inconvenience
> > caused is regretted.
>
> With the same disclaimer in mind, I'll pitch in. I'm the designer for
> Google
> Talk. I always like it when you can actually pester the designer about
> some
> of the decisions they made, so if anyone has any comments, questions, or
> suggestions, fire away. Can't promise I'll answer everything -- tons and
> tons to do on Talk -- but I'll do what I can.
>
> - Chad
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription Options ...
> http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home .......................
> http://ixdg.org/
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

25 Aug 2005 - 2:55pm
andersr
2005

since we've got the designer on the line, here's my one comment:

When I tried Talk for the first time, I saw the little phone icon next
to a name I recognized and clicked on it, not realizing until it was
too late that I had unintentionally initiated a conversation with this
person (an IM session actually) - it was a bit embarrasing - I guess I
was expection some session window to open up, such as in MSN
messenger. I'm wondering if either a message should display the first
time to confirm that you want to connect or if this should be
initiated with a double click rather than single click

my .02

-anders

25 Aug 2005 - 2:58pm
Chad Thornton
2005

> Congrats on the launch, Chad .
Thanks, Lilly.

So, asterisks. Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.
It's a reality of working with very bright and stubborn engineers that
they make all sorts of UI decisions as they're coding, and they don't
always take the time to ask the interaction designer for their opinion.
The markup for bold was a decision they made, and I've had enough other
details to worry about that I'm fine with what they chose, for now.
More user feedback and usability testing may prove otherwise.

And emoticons. Another honest answer: they're easy to make if you want
them to look like everyone else's, difficult if you want to do
something different, and a surprisingly political issue. I'll leave it
at that ;-)

- Chad

On Aug 25, 2005, at 12:40 PM, Lilly Irani wrote:

> Yeah, and why have you taken away my ability to:
> *lambast Chad*
> by bolding with asterisks? :)
>
> Congrats on the launch, Chad .
>
> On 8/25/05, Shuli Gilutz <sgilutz at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> Wow!
>> Thanks Chad.
>> My most urgent question - and I can see some of you out here frowning
>> in a
>> second -
>> Why no emoticons?
>> Such a big part of IMing...
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-
>> bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>> [mailto:
>> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
>> com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
>> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:29 PM
>> To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>> Subject: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued
>>
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>>
>> > The mail wasnt meant as an commercial advertisement, it was meant as
>> > news/ raw-material for creating food for thought.. Any inconvenience
>> > caused is regretted.
>>
>> With the same disclaimer in mind, I'll pitch in. I'm the designer for
>> Google
>> Talk. I always like it when you can actually pester the designer
>> about some
>> of the decisions they made, so if anyone has any comments, questions,
>> or
>> suggestions, fire away. Can't promise I'll answer everything -- tons
>> and
>> tons to do on Talk -- but I'll do what I can.
>>
>> - Chad
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription
>> Options ...
>> http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
>> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home
>> .......................
>> http://ixdg.org/
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

25 Aug 2005 - 3:25pm
Shuli Gilutz
2004

Thanks for your honest answers Chad!
This is another reminder that design is always political.
Always a collaboration and compromise between all the groups working on it.

Keep up the good work!

Cheers,
Shuli

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:58 PM
To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

> Congrats on the launch, Chad .
Thanks, Lilly.

So, asterisks. Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.
It's a reality of working with very bright and stubborn engineers that they
make all sorts of UI decisions as they're coding, and they don't always take
the time to ask the interaction designer for their opinion.
The markup for bold was a decision they made, and I've had enough other
details to worry about that I'm fine with what they chose, for now.
More user feedback and usability testing may prove otherwise.

And emoticons. Another honest answer: they're easy to make if you want them
to look like everyone else's, difficult if you want to do something
different, and a surprisingly political issue. I'll leave it at that ;-)

- Chad

On Aug 25, 2005, at 12:40 PM, Lilly Irani wrote:

> Yeah, and why have you taken away my ability to:
> *lambast Chad*
> by bolding with asterisks? :)
>
> Congrats on the launch, Chad .
>
> On 8/25/05, Shuli Gilutz <sgilutz at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> Wow!
>> Thanks Chad.
>> My most urgent question - and I can see some of you out here frowning
>> in a second - Why no emoticons?
>> Such a big part of IMing...
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-
>> bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>> [mailto:
>> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
>> com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
>> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:29 PM
>> To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>> Subject: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued
>>
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>>
>> > The mail wasnt meant as an commercial advertisement, it was meant
>> > as news/ raw-material for creating food for thought.. Any
>> > inconvenience caused is regretted.
>>
>> With the same disclaimer in mind, I'll pitch in. I'm the designer for
>> Google Talk. I always like it when you can actually pester the
>> designer about some of the decisions they made, so if anyone has any
>> comments, questions, or suggestions, fire away. Can't promise I'll
>> answer everything -- tons and tons to do on Talk -- but I'll do what
>> I can.
>>
>> - Chad
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription
>> Options ...
>> http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
>> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home
>> .......................
>> http://ixdg.org/
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription
>> Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
>> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home
>> ....................... http://ixdg.org/

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription Options ...
http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home .......................
http://ixdg.org/

25 Aug 2005 - 3:45pm
Matthew Drazin
2005

Chad,

Wonderful hearing from someone who actually worked on the project. I'm going
to ask some questions and you don't have to answer if you don't want to.

1) If Talk is going to replace the gmail notifier, why no visual
notification that you have unread mail? lets say i miss the pop up
notification, threes no visual Que to tell me i should check my inbox.
Unless im missing something. Also, when i move my mouse over the talk icon
in the task bar, it constantly says 1 unread conversation when in reality i
have no new email.

2) Any plans to allow other services to run on the Talk platform? like AIM
or MSN or YAHOO? (minus the call feature)

3) I love how Talk integrates to the sidebar of google Desktop 2.0. I can
foresee space becoming very valuable on the side bar as more plug ins start
popping up and i was wondering why the "search all contacts" box is so large
and not a removable option from the top of the Talk module? At this point
its practically the only thing i see....my status then the search bar.
Considering when adding friends, you can search your contacts from that
window, i don't see why the contact search is featured in this space?

4) no question 4 thanks for reading this far.

-Matt Drazin

On 8/25/05, Shuli Gilutz <sgilutz at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Thanks for your honest answers Chad!
> This is another reminder that design is always political.
> Always a collaboration and compromise between all the groups working on
> it.
>
> Keep up the good work!
>
> Cheers,
> Shuli
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
> com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:58 PM
> To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> > Congrats on the launch, Chad .
> Thanks, Lilly.
>
> So, asterisks. Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.
> It's a reality of working with very bright and stubborn engineers that
> they
> make all sorts of UI decisions as they're coding, and they don't always
> take
> the time to ask the interaction designer for their opinion.
> The markup for bold was a decision they made, and I've had enough other
> details to worry about that I'm fine with what they chose, for now.
> More user feedback and usability testing may prove otherwise.
>
> And emoticons. Another honest answer: they're easy to make if you want
> them
> to look like everyone else's, difficult if you want to do something
> different, and a surprisingly political issue. I'll leave it at that ;-)
>
> - Chad
>
>
> On Aug 25, 2005, at 12:40 PM, Lilly Irani wrote:
>
> > Yeah, and why have you taken away my ability to:
> > *lambast Chad*
> > by bolding with asterisks? :)
> >
> > Congrats on the launch, Chad .
> >
> > On 8/25/05, Shuli Gilutz <sgilutz at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Wow!
> >> Thanks Chad.
> >> My most urgent question - and I can see some of you out here frowning
> >> in a second - Why no emoticons?
> >> Such a big part of IMing...
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From:
> >> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-
> >> bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> >> [mailto:
> >> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
> >> com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
> >> Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:29 PM
> >> To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> >> Subject: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued
> >>
> >> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> >> material.]
> >>
> >> > The mail wasnt meant as an commercial advertisement, it was meant
> >> > as news/ raw-material for creating food for thought.. Any
> >> > inconvenience caused is regretted.
> >>
> >> With the same disclaimer in mind, I'll pitch in. I'm the designer for
> >> Google Talk. I always like it when you can actually pester the
> >> designer about some of the decisions they made, so if anyone has any
> >> comments, questions, or suggestions, fire away. Can't promise I'll
> >> answer everything -- tons and tons to do on Talk -- but I'll do what
> >> I can.
> >>
> >> - Chad
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> >> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription
> >> Options ...
> >> http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
> >> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> >> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home
> >> .......................
> >> http://ixdg.org/
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> >> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription
> >> Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
> >> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> >> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home
> >> ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription Options ...
> http://discuss.ixdg.org/ Announcements List .........
> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org Home .......................
> http://ixdg.org/
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

25 Aug 2005 - 4:19pm
Austin Govella
2004

Chad:

Not letting the user change the font seems like a decent idea, but why
did you choose Arial as opposed to some other typeface? Was it apathy?
A hunch? User testing? (P.S. I hate Arial.)

Also, you mentioned the engineers's code determined the syntax for
bold. Was there discussion about "correcting" the syntax so it
followed convention? Collaboration with engineering is important. I'm
wondering more about how this went for you. What were their concerns?
What were yours? Were solutions innovated or mediated? Etc.

One thing I noticed immediately, and liked: the design is exceptionally clean.

--
Austin Govella
Thinking & Making: IA, UX, and IxD
http://thinkingandmaking.com
austin.govella at gmail.com

25 Aug 2005 - 4:58pm
Chad Thornton
2005

> Wonderful hearing from someone who actually worked on the project. 
> I'm going to ask some questions and you don't have to answer if you
> don't want to.
>
> 1) If Talk is going to replace the gmail notifier, why no visual
> notification that you have unread mail?  lets say i miss the pop up
> notification, threes no visual Que to tell me i should check my
> inbox.  Unless im missing something. 
No, you're not missing anything. It's a recognized problem, but the
team wanted to ship early and it didn't make it into this release. At
the risk of belaboring what we all likely know, software development
teams differ in their approach when deciding when it's time to ship.
This team favors the 'early and often' approach, at least for now. For
a v1 product, that means that lots of features get cut and lots of
details get pushed. As the designer, it causes a ton of stress -- we
tend to be perfectionists by nature, not satisficers -- but it's just
another challenge to deal with.

> Also, when i move my mouse over the talk icon in the task bar, it
> constantly says 1 unread conversation when in reality i have no new
> email.
That's a bug, and we're aware of it.

> 2) Any plans to allow other services to run on the Talk platform? 
> like AIM or MSN or YAHOO?  (minus the call feature)
Check out any of the articles that have come out in the last two days:
http://news.google.com/news?
hl=en&ned=&q=%22google+talk%22&btnG=Search+News

There's an open offer to federate and use the open xmpp standard for
chat (and similar protocols for VoIP). That offer includes AIM, MSN,
and Yahoo. The Google Talk team thinks open standards are important,
that it's a good thing for our customers (and theirs), and we hope they
agree.

- Chad

25 Aug 2005 - 4:59pm
John Evans
2005

> Not letting the user change the font seems like a decent idea, but why
> did you choose Arial as opposed to some other typeface? Was it apathy?
> A hunch? User testing? (P.S. I hate Arial.)
>
>

LOL but Arial isnt so bad, it could have been Times ;-)

> Also, you mentioned the engineers's code determined the syntax for
> bold. Was there discussion about "correcting" the syntax so it
> followed convention? Collaboration with engineering is important. I'm
> wondering more about how this went for you. What were their concerns?
> What were yours? Were solutions innovated or mediated? Etc.
>
> One thing I noticed immediately, and liked: the design is
> exceptionally clean.
>
>

What is the convention you mention????

isnt the use of *to make text like this bold* a common thing in
things like wikis and blogs etc.

There are whole markup languages like Markdown [http://
daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/basics] and textile [http://
textism.com/tools/textile/] which attempt to take common use of
symbols to format text.

For users not familiar with these things it seems strange at first
but with a little usage it becomes normal. I for example cannot make
lists without writing it like this.

This is a list
----------------

* item 1
** sub item
** subitem 2
* item 3

25 Aug 2005 - 5:42pm
Chad Thornton
2005

> Not letting the user change the font seems like a decent idea, but why
> did you choose Arial as opposed to some other typeface? Was it apathy?
> A hunch? User testing? (P.S. I hate Arial.)
I dislike Arial too, and it was a bitter pill to swallow. We needed a
font that was installed on all Windows machines back to 2000, and
something that looks good at larger sizes, for both the roster and the
chat history. Tahoma, Trebuchet, and Verdana were also contenders, but
IMHO none look as good as Arial at 12pt. Heresy, I know. Come to your
own conclusions here:
http://www.howardesign.com/exp/fonts/compare.html

We tried builds with other typefaces, and in the end Arial worked the
best because it's ubiquitous, looks good with ClearType on at larger
sizes, and stays consistent with Google's use of Arial on our other
products.

> Also, you mentioned the engineers's code determined the syntax for
> bold. Was there discussion about "correcting" the syntax so it
> followed convention?
I'm gonna punt on this - I don't think there's a clear convention
here...

> Collaboration with engineering is important. I'm
> wondering more about how this went for you. What were their concerns?
> What were yours? Were solutions innovated or mediated? Etc.
Oh man, that's a huge question that deserves at least one beer before I
answer in any detail. It's been an amazingly frustrating experience for
a lot of reasons, though nothing that unique if you've ever been
outnumbered by a team of bright and opinionated team of engineers. Good
design takes time, building trust takes time, remotely located teams
makes collaboration challenging, everyone thinks they're an interface
designer.............

> One thing I noticed immediately, and liked: the design is
> exceptionally clean.
Thanks. I hope it stays that way :-)

- Chad

25 Aug 2005 - 6:20pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Chad Thornton <chad at brightlycoloredfood.com> wrote:

>>Collaboration with engineering is important. I'm
>>wondering more about how this went for you. What were their concerns?
>>What were yours? Were solutions innovated or mediated? Etc.
>Oh man, that's a huge question that deserves at least one beer
>before I answer in any detail. It's been an amazingly frustrating
>experience for a lot of reasons, though nothing that unique if
>you've ever been outnumbered by a team of bright and opinionated
>team of engineers. Good design takes time, building trust takes
>time, remotely located teams makes collaboration challenging,
>everyone thinks they're an interface designer.............

I'll buy you that beer sometime, Chad.

I do UI testing. I know exactly what you mean. Don't you just
*love* the intractable developer who makes a coding decision that
differs from the design docs based only on his gut feeling, and won't
argue for the change in a cross-team meeting but also refuses to make
it match the design docs. <grrrrr>
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA jdrew at adobe.com
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 08/04)

25 Aug 2005 - 8:06pm
b0b d0n
2005

Chad Thornton wrote:
>
>
> Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.

> ...and you let them get away with it? So, if someone were to tell you that
the overall product design was bad, you'd blame the designer/engineer?I like
your honesty Chad, honestly..;-)..but when it comes to the final UI design,
and it turns out bad, people would point fingers at the --------------?

It's a reality of working with very bright and stubborn engineers that
> they make all sorts of UI decisions as they're coding, and they don't
> always take the time to ask the interaction designer for their opinion.

>..and I always thought Google was the place to be, when it came to good UI
design.Seems like engineers have their way? If they do not take time to ask
the interaction designer abt his/her opinion, either:
(1)The interaction designer doesn't stand behind his/her design;
(1a)Doesn't have the _ _ _ _ _.
(2)Interaction design is a big joke at XXX firm.[Which is kinda hard to
believe..especially at this firm]
.....Take your pick!

Also, thanks for sharing some of *internal* Google stuff.I always wondered
how Google's interaction design team functioned. I feel I have a pretty good
understanding..Thanks!

Bob

p.s: I'm not anti-Google or anything, in fact I'm a big fan of almost all
Google products, with the exception of GTalk.I'm sure they'll get their s***
together fast.wot say Chad?

25 Aug 2005 - 8:48pm
Chad Thornton
2005

>> Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.
> > ...and you let them get away with it? So, if someone were to tell
> you that the overall product design was bad, you'd blame the
> designer/engineer?I like your honesty Chad, honestly..;-)..but when it
> comes to the final UI design, and it turns out bad, people would point
> fingers at the --------------?
Bob, get a grip. I was aware of their decision, it was a minor feature,
and it seemed like a fine decision to me.

25 Aug 2005 - 9:16pm
James Melzer
2004

I say three cheers for Chad for actually standing up in public and
saying "that's mine" for a big public release.

~ James

On 8/25/05, Chad Thornton <chad at brightlycoloredfood.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> >> Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.
> > > ...and you let them get away with it? So, if someone were to tell
> > you that the overall product design was bad, you'd blame the
> > designer/engineer?I like your honesty Chad, honestly..;-)..but when it
> > comes to the final UI design, and it turns out bad, people would point
> > fingers at the --------------?
> Bob, get a grip. I was aware of their decision, it was a minor feature,
> and it seemed like a fine decision to me.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

--
James Melzer

--------------------------------------
"Choice, the problem is choice." - Neo

25 Aug 2005 - 9:24pm
dszuc
2005

Cheers!

Chad - this is what I like:

1. Lite to download and install

2. Lite feel and lite design appearance about it

3. It just does IM and talk (not heavy add ons - who needs em!)

4. Talk quality is pretty good (have already tried this between HK to Dubai
and HK to mainland China). I think comparable with Skype (look forward to
G-talk extending this to call to phones)

5. Easy to find contacts from your gmail contacts list by typing in name in
the search

Good work!

Rgds,

Daniel Szuc
Principal Usability Consultant
Apogee Usability Asia Ltd
www.apogeehk.com
'Usability in Asia'

Ph: +852 2581-2166
Fax: +852 2833-2961

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of James Melzer
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 10:16 AM
To: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

I say three cheers for Chad for actually standing up in public and saying
"that's mine" for a big public release.

~ James

On 8/25/05, Chad Thornton <chad at brightlycoloredfood.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> >> Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.
> > > ...and you let them get away with it? So, if someone were to tell
> > you that the overall product design was bad, you'd blame the
> > designer/engineer?I like your honesty Chad, honestly..;-)..but when
> > it comes to the final UI design, and it turns out bad, people would
> > point fingers at the --------------?
> Bob, get a grip. I was aware of their decision, it was a minor
> feature, and it seemed like a fine decision to me.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org (Un)Subscription Options
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>

--
James Melzer

--------------------------------------
"Choice, the problem is choice." - Neo
_______________________________________________
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26 Aug 2005 - 12:19am
Lilly Irani
2004

I'd product development at Google as highly iterative and consensus based.
This means you design, engineers implement, everyone gives feedback,
everyone has ideas, everyone has opinions. I find that 80% of the UI
feedback I get from engineers might not be fully informed, but 20% of the
time, they see something I don't because they're humans and I'm really close
to the designs. I see it as a bunch of people who want to build the best
thing possible making sure every angle was considered. It's stressful
dealing with such inquisitive, opinionated minds, but if you have the
stomach for it, 20% of the time you get a design that goes further than you
would have gotten going yourself.

That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

(Actual 80/20 ratio of misinformed / inspired feedback may vary by engineer
and by project. :) )

On 8/25/05, Bob Don <bobdon at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Chad Thornton wrote:
> >
> >
> > Well, honest answer: the engineers decided on that one.
>
>
> > ...and you let them get away with it? So, if someone were to tell you
> that
> the overall product design was bad, you'd blame the designer/engineer?I
> like
> your honesty Chad, honestly..;-)..but when it comes to the final UI
> design,
> and it turns out bad, people would point fingers at the --------------?
>
> It's a reality of working with very bright and stubborn engineers that
> > they make all sorts of UI decisions as they're coding, and they don't
> > always take the time to ask the interaction designer for their opinion.
>
>
> >..and I always thought Google was the place to be, when it came to good
> UI
> design.Seems like engineers have their way? If they do not take time to
> ask
> the interaction designer abt his/her opinion, either:
> (1)The interaction designer doesn't stand behind his/her design;
> (1a)Doesn't have the _ _ _ _ _.
> (2)Interaction design is a big joke at XXX firm.[Which is kinda hard to
> believe..especially at this firm]
> .....Take your pick!
>
> Also, thanks for sharing some of *internal* Google stuff.I always wondered
> how Google's interaction design team functioned. I feel I have a pretty
> good
> understanding..Thanks!
>
> Bob
>
> p.s: I'm not anti-Google or anything, in fact I'm a big fan of almost all
> Google products, with the exception of GTalk.I'm sure they'll get their
> s***
> together fast.wot say Chad?
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
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> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

26 Aug 2005 - 1:51am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Aug 25, 2005, at 6:06 PM, Bob Don wrote:
>
>> ..and I always thought Google was the place to be, when it came to
>> good UI
>>
> design.Seems like engineers have their way? If they do not take
> time to ask
> the interaction designer abt his/her opinion, either:
> (1)The interaction designer doesn't stand behind his/her design;
> (1a)Doesn't have the _ _ _ _ _.
> (2)Interaction design is a big joke at XXX firm.[Which is kinda
> hard to
> believe..especially at this firm]
> .....Take your pick!
>

Wow, harsh.

I'm curious to know where you work, Bob. At pretty much every company
I've ever worked at, interaction designers have collaborated with
developers in order to actually ship products. That means compromises
with said developers. Designers don't always unilaterally win. And
that has nothing to do with the integrity or courage of the designer
or the esteem that design is or isn't held within a company.

IMHO, it was pretty ballsy for Chad to open himself up for criticism
on this list for this high-profile project. Any project of yours
you'd care to let us examine?

Dan Saffer, M.Des., IDSA
Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

25 Aug 2005 - 8:23pm
Kevin Fox
2005

> Also, thanks for sharing some of *internal* Google stuff.I always wondered
> how Google's interaction design team functioned. I feel I have a pretty good
> understanding..Thanks!

Every team is different here. Anecdotal evidence shouldn't be
extrapolated into wide generalities.

-Kevin Fox

PS: I always trim "[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only
relevant quoted material.]" and yet it always reappears, though it's
both trimmed and irrelevant to the message content! ;-) Seriously
though, it makes preview snippets worthless when reading this mailing
list.

26 Aug 2005 - 6:49am
Jim Hoekema
2004

I have to agree about larger sizes looking better in Arial. For on-screen
"body type" I still find Verdana the most legible, but at 12 or 14 points
Verdana is so... Ugly! I always switch to Arial for headings for that
reason. Seems a fair call.

Also, thanks for chatting with us all!

- Jim Hoekema
Mobius Management Systems
Rye, NY

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of Chad Thornton
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 6:43 PM
Cc: discuss-interactiondesigners.com at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] Google Talk, continued

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

> Not letting the user change the font seems like a decent idea, but why
> did you choose Arial as opposed to some other typeface? Was it apathy?
> A hunch? User testing? (P.S. I hate Arial.)
I dislike Arial too, and it was a bitter pill to swallow. We needed a
font that was installed on all Windows machines back to 2000, and
something that looks good at larger sizes, for both the roster and the
chat history. Tahoma, Trebuchet, and Verdana were also contenders, but
IMHO none look as good as Arial at 12pt. Heresy, I know. Come to your
own conclusions here: http://www.howardesign.com/exp/fonts/compare.html

We tried builds with other typefaces, and in the end Arial worked the
best because it's ubiquitous, looks good with ClearType on at larger
sizes, and stays consistent with Google's use of Arial on our other
products.

> Also, you mentioned the engineers's code determined the syntax for
> bold. Was there discussion about "correcting" the syntax so it
> followed convention?
I'm gonna punt on this - I don't think there's a clear convention
here...

> Collaboration with engineering is important. I'm
> wondering more about how this went for you. What were their concerns?
> What were yours? Were solutions innovated or mediated? Etc.
Oh man, that's a huge question that deserves at least one beer before I
answer in any detail. It's been an amazingly frustrating experience for
a lot of reasons, though nothing that unique if you've ever been
outnumbered by a team of bright and opinionated team of engineers. Good
design takes time, building trust takes time, remotely located teams
makes collaboration challenging, everyone thinks they're an interface
designer.............

> One thing I noticed immediately, and liked: the design is
> exceptionally clean.
Thanks. I hope it stays that way :-)

- Chad

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26 Aug 2005 - 7:08am
Ben Hunt
2004

Jim said:
I have to agree about larger sizes looking better in Arial. For on-screen
"body type" I still find Verdana the most legible, but at 12 or 14 points
Verdana is so... Ugly! I always switch to Arial for headings for that
reason. Seems a fair call.

I wrote an article that explains *why* verdana is better for body text:
http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/readability.cfm

- Ben

26 Aug 2005 - 7:17am
DeleteMe
2005

I don't see anything in that article specifically advocating Vernada vs.
Ariel.

Personally I find Arie much easier on the eyes vs. Vernada. From my
experiece the difference between the various sans-serif fonts is mostly
based on personal preference.

On 8/26/05, Ben Hunt <ben at scratchmedia.co.uk> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Jim said:
> I have to agree about larger sizes looking better in Arial. For on-screen
> "body type" I still find Verdana the most legible, but at 12 or 14 points
> Verdana is so... Ugly! I always switch to Arial for headings for that
> reason. Seems a fair call.
>
> I wrote an article that explains *why* verdana is better for body text:
> http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/readability.cfm
>
>
> - Ben
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

--
There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We do not believe this to be a coincidence. ~Jeremy S. Anderson

26 Aug 2005 - 7:24am
Ben Hunt
2004

Jason said:

> I don't see anything in that article specifically advocating Vernada vs.
Ariel.

You're quite right. Just...

"Many sans fonts have been developed specifically for electronic media. The
most readable sans-serif fonts are broad, providing ample space between
letters, which facilitates recognition. In the opinion of most designers,
Verdana is by far the most effective web font."

The reasoning is: Verdana is a broader and squarer font than Arial, which
creates more space for each letter to occupy. This helps make letters more
distinctive (distinguishable with less effort).

- Ben

26 Aug 2005 - 7:37am
DeleteMe
2005

> The reasoning is: Verdana is a broader and squarer font than Arial, which
> creates more space for each letter to occupy. This helps make letters more
> distinctive (distinguishable with less effort).
>
>
More distinctive does not always mean more readable - after all, you read a
word at a time, not a letter at a time (In fact studies have shown that the
brain only tends to use the first and last letters of the word to
differentiate it at all - but I digress).

Verdana's blocky letters are more suited to extremely low res displays such
as PDAs, for sure, but I find the blockiness an impediment to my reading on
anything above 800x600. The fact that the letters do not flow into each
other at all make reading more difficult.

--
There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We do not believe this to be a coincidence. ~Jeremy S. Anderson

31 Dec 2005 - 5:23pm
Juan Lanus
2005

On 8/25/05, Chad Thornton <chad at brightlycoloredfood.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> > The mail wasnt meant as an commercial advertisement, it was meant as
> > news/ raw-material for creating food for thought.. Any inconvenience
> > caused is regretted.
>
> With the same disclaimer in mind, I'll pitch in. I'm the designer for
> Google Talk. I always like it when you can actually pester the designer
> about some of the decisions they made, so if anyone has any comments,
> questions, or suggestions, fire away. Can't promise I'll answer
> everything -- tons and tons to do on Talk -- but I'll do what I can.
>
> - Chad
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
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