Sneak peak at the new kde-telepathy-presence plasmoid

Hello hello KDE fans! New kid on the block! Let’s cut to the point shall we?

Who am I?

What is my GSoC project about?

It’s called “Integrating Kde-telepathy into the plasma workspace”. I’ll be creating some useful plasmoids aimed to be simple and easy to use without cluttering up the desktop of the user. These plasmoids will all be related to the kde-telepathy framework

So now that you know what you’ll be seeing from me during this summer, let me show you my first creation: the Presence Plasmoid.


Thanks to the oxygen team, we have a new icon! You can see it in my system tray (the blue bubble). This first screenshot shows how accounts will be shown (I have only one but if you have more accounts, they will all be displayed in the plasmoid).


This second screenshot shows how to set the account state.

You’ll have noticed two icons on the top right of the plasmoid. Those icons (from the left) are launchers used to start the kde-telepathy-contactlist and the account manager.
Easy eh?
This plasmoid is new and so, as all new things, it is and will be subject to “change”.

Get in touch

If anyone has feedback on how to make it graphically
better looking, add functionality or other, please feel free to contact me.
You’ll find me (nwoki) on the kde-telepathy mailing list or in irc #kde-telepathy@freenode.

P.S this plasmoid will be shipped in the beta release of kde-telepathy so don’t worry, you’ll get to try it out soon πŸ˜‰

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16 thoughts on “Sneak peak at the new kde-telepathy-presence plasmoid

  1. Adam says:

    I’m afraid that it only makes sense and seems easy to you because you’re the one who made it, so you know how it works. None of those little icons clearly indicate their function. The horizontal arrangement of the status icons is non-standard. The two icons in the corner look merely decorative.

    I recommend that you basically copy the right-click menu from the Kopete tray icon, perhaps with statuses listed directly instead of in a submenu.

  2. Oblivion says:

    A presence plasmoid for kde-telephaty will be very useful, indeed. And I am looking forward to see how the cool new features will be implemented.

    Just a suggestion (or a rule of thumb, maybe): Unless it is necessary, please try not to use anything other than the default KDE plasma theme (in this case, it should be “air”) on your screenshots. So that we -average user- can have an idea on what it will really look liken on our default KDE configuration.


  3. Luis says:

    Nice work. It looks rather nice. But where is it? I can only find the old presence plasmoid in the repo.

  4. Nuno Bento says:

    I agree with Adam.

    Looking at the first screenshot I would never have guessed the 2 icons on the top right were actually buttons, it should be more explicit either by using the button widget or having some kind of label that gives that impression.

    I also think the status indicator would be better if it were a simple combo box (e.g. Pidgin’s status chooser).

    I’d also like to see a screenshot with multiple acounts.

    I’m sorry if this comment sounds a bit harsh but that’s not the point, I’m just trying to make some constructive criticism. KDE Telepathy seems like a great project, I’m looking forward to it πŸ˜‰

    • Lukas says:

      >>> Looking at the first screenshot I would never have guessed the 2 icons on the top right were actually buttons, it should be more explicit either by using the button widget or having some kind of label that gives that impression.

      Ahm, that could be solved by some glow effect on on-hover event + tooltip (and that’s, obviously, cant be visible in the screenshot) πŸ™‚

      • Nuno Bento says:

        Yes, that would not be visible on the screenshot but that’s exactly the point. The user shouldn’t need to start hovering things to realize what is a clickable and what’s not, these kinds of things should be visible at a glance.

        But there’s a simple test for this: get some users, show this screenshot to some of them and a version with buttons to the others and ask them to view their contact list, measuring the number of clicks and time it takes each of them to get there. Can you guess the results?

        Again, I just want to see KDE get better and these little things matter.

    • Nuno Bento says:

      Also, I don’t know if that’s planned or not, but being able to check my status at a glance (read without opening the plasmoid) would be very good too.

      Ubuntu’s presence indicator (or whatever it’s called) is a good example. Altough this would only work if the status is global for all accounts.

      • Lukas says:

        >> But there’s a simple test for this: get some users, show this screenshot to some of them and a version with
        Looks like you’re talking about my post πŸ™‚ This case is more of exception, then screenshot testing wont work (unless hover effect gets implemented)

        >> The user shouldn’t need to start hovering things to realize what is a clickable and what’s not,

        I got your point, but in such small widget, its impossible not to hover them in the firs day of use πŸ™‚

        Also on the web, there are many examples, when you can find clickable elements only by hovering them. It’s nothing new. Especially for some links, site logos, images, avatars etc.

      • Nuno Bento says:

        @Lukas: seems we reached the reply limit πŸ™‚

        Yeah, I saw your post a few days ago and find it interesting, good job btw πŸ˜‰
        But in this case I was talking about real usability tests, but that would obviously be harder to do given the situation.

        I agree that there are a lot of elements on the web that only work with hovering. Most of these are done for aesthetic reasons, but even so I don’t think that’s the way to go, good aesthetic should not be achieved in detriment of usabiltiy.

        In the end I believe that using a button widget(even if it only has the icon and no label) would allow the user to immediately understand that those icons actually do something, and that’s very important.

      • Lukas says:

        @Nuno: Yes we did πŸ™‚

        After writing “such small widget”, an old idea came back – Why the hell all widgets should be so mall after all?

        They re only visible on user action, so we are free to use even entire screen space, if it makes any sense. Also being bigger feels kinda more luxury

        The network manager style (made in 10mins) version of telepathy plasmoid:

        Nwoki, what do you think?

    • Nuno Bento says:

      @Lukas: I completely agree that plasmoids can (and in many ocasions should) be bigger when expanded. The NM plasmoid is a great example and your mockup looks very good, nice job!

      I’m glad to see nwoki liked your mockup too πŸ™‚

  5. Luis says:

    I think the design is confusing, too.

  6. Lukas says:

    Great to see it coming πŸ™‚

    I just don’t get one thing – why most PIM related app still groups user data based on technical resources/accounts instead of logical activities/groups/networks/etc?

    Probably none is interested into setting one status for skype, other for jabber, other for facebook other for… What reasonable man would want is to set one status for friends, next for work (if you cant set it on user base, mark resource as friends).

    And that’s not just statuses. Same thing goes to contacts. Who wants to send message to facebook friend Joe X, against jabber friend Joe X? What average user wants is just to send message to Joe X in the fastest available network.

    Hope you get the point πŸ™‚


    As for status indicator, what about placing icon on bottom right on avatar?

    To change the status let the user click its avatar and do the job on popup window (where space is not an issue)

  7. Thomas says:

    Why not to show the presence on the blue icon in the bar? A grey bubble would indicate offline status, a clock on top of the bubble that you’re idling, etc…This way you don’t have to click the icopn to see your status!

  8. nwoki says:

    @Luis: I’ve been working in my scratch repo. Soon I’ll push to master so you lot can try it out and give better feedback and report bugs.

    ~ I do use the Plasma::IconWidget but with a screenshot you don’t see that.

    @Lukas: Man I like your ideas.
    >why use small icons??
    You’re right, I might consider in making those icons bigger and maybe with text (based on you mockup).

    Your mockup gave me a cool idea for the latest chats. But for that to be implemented you’ll have to wait a bit.

    As I said, this was a “sneak peak” so that I could get some feedback from you guys so thanks for all your comments. I appreciate the negative ones mostly. This plasmoid IS subject to change, big or small, so continue rolling in your ideas πŸ˜‰
    I really want this plasmoid to be very easy to use and intuitive and I’ll change whatever necessary to achieve this.

    Thanks for your time guys

  9. bsmith1012 says:

    Good post and I like all of the discussion. A while back I made up some contact widget mockups that might be helpful.

    I especially like the status changer, since it takes up very little space until it’s click and its extremely powerful. Using nepomuk, or even just a txt file, to save statuses would really useful.

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