[MG] Bubble layout

conseo 4consensus at web.de
Sat May 7 19:37:09 EDT 2011


sorry for being a bit calm, I am busy studying atm. Still I have worked a bit 
to get the intended bubble style conversation layout in the diff-feed. It looks 
good so far, but I am not really satisfied with it. My instance is running 
here: http://whiletaker.homeip.net:8080/voff/crossforum/#c=DG and as soon as 
Mike pulls from me it will also run on the deployment machines.
As Alex has pointed out, the 2-character userMnemonic is not really intuitive. 
The problem we face atm. is that we cannot use real usernames either as a) we 
cannot predict the length and this makes the layout terribly fragile (imo 
broken) and b) fullnames will create a wall of text. We want to get the 
attention not so much by the names of users, but by their conversation, so 
when you have a first look at the feed you should get pulled in by the short 
excerpts. The only alternative which I can think of to get a better individual 
visualization of each user would be an avatar. But if you have a look at the 
screen space, this option disqualifies quickly as well. It would also terribly 
clutter the interface and would likely bite with a passive color sheme and the 
communication (text) centric approach of the feed.

Now I need some help/feedback for the current layout. 

I calculate the color for each poll (title) and each user mnemonic out of the 
string, so it is fixed on all machines at all times and still calculated in the 
client layout code. I have selected a broad but still small set of colors to 
get a maximum contrast and distinction, but looking at the interface right 
now, I think the colors should be much more subtle. 
1.1 What color sheme should I use then?
1.2 Should I use the same sheme for the titles and the user names or should I 
split it in two parts of the possible spectrum? Or should I avoid colors in 
the title or in the user mnemonics?

The mnemonics are not perfect. We could improve the situation by adding a 
small icon to visualize the fact that it is a person. Do you have any more 
ideas of how to distinct the mnemonics from the rest?

The poll title currently points to the position of the author of the message, 
where you then can find a link to the poll as well. The wiki footings don't 
make that very obvious atm., so I guess users will have difficulties to 
understand that they are on a position page and won't quickly find out about 
the poll page. Thomas suggested on IRC to use the mnemonics to point to the 
postition pages and the title to point to the poll page.
3.1 Should I point the mnemonics to the position pages and the title to the 
poll page? While this might sound like a good idea, I think that the closest 
relevant information of the communication happening is the poster's position, 
which he tries to debate, while the poll definition is not at the heart of the 
3.2 Will new users understand that they can find the position page via the 
mnemonics? As long as they are a bit cryptic, new users might completely miss 
the position pages and therefore not understand what is really happening.

Having a look again at it now, I might see problems where they aren't. The 
bubble in fact can only point to a subject speaking, so it should be clear 
that the mnemonics are persons and likely clickable. What do you think?


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