Marc Edwards at Bjango takes a look at the current state of iChat, and redesigns the user interface around a single windowed concept. It’s all laid out in a thoughtful post, that’s best read on Bjango’s beautiful site. Go ahead and read it, you can leave this window open in a tab. Come back when you’re done though.
Welcome back. Brilliant, isn’t it? I do have some issues with the concept, though. IM for me, and probably everyone else, is never a full focussed task. It’s always a tiny window tucked in at whatever little space I can find on my iMac’s display; desktop real estate is even more precious on the smaller display of the MacBook. This concept, while good for chatting, is somewhat less than optimal in terms of how many pixels a single chat window would use. I’m also afraid one might not be able to easily control availability status for individual accounts (I hate leaving Jabber online). There’s a third issue, and that’s chatting with people who ‘Appear Offline’, which is generally what my AIM status is set at. I’m sure these are UI problems that can be solved while still clearing up the window clutter, which I’m hoping Apple will do something about when they introduce FaceTime into iChat.
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