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#1 whitemark

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:16 AM

chat_callout.gif

http://mail.google.c.../help/chat.html

#2 Tim

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:53 AM

Yes, quite a nice addition, isn't it? :)

However, I never really got into Google Talk because it was just too basic - there were better programs around, such as Skype. Not many people I know use it either, likely for the same reasons, so although this addition to Gmail looks nice, it won't come in handy for me.

#3 whitemark

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 09:15 AM

If you and your friends use Gmail, then it'll definitely come in handy. Especially if you / they are behind corporate firewalls and can't use the usual messengers.

#4 IrishWonder

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:23 AM

I believe Google adding Talk to email which is far more popular is their attempt to market it some more. As for me, I'd rather keep my emails and talks separate - haven't seen it in action yet but I imagine it can end up pretty messy. Though I agree with whitemark as to its usefullness to those behind firewalls.

#5 whitemark

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 02:39 PM

Updated Google Talk Privacy - http://www.google.co...cy_redline.html

#6 radiorental

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:55 PM

curious decision to include IM in with Mail. Take a step back. Do you ever find yourself in email wishing you could IM someone, maybe, enough so to have IM functionality built in to the mail client? not in my case. I'm in email because I want to mail, I'm in IM because I want to IM etc

Dont forget talk isnt just IM, its voip too. How does that squeeze in to Mail?

Have you ever opened a letter from someone and thought, I'll respond to this with a telephone call right now. Not often.

My take is... what do all these application have in common? Yes they're comms apps but they all contain a contact list or address book of some sort.

Make the address book the center piece of communication with links off to IM, Mail, Voip.

When I want to contact someone I base the decision on which app to use on;
Who I'm contacting
What systems they have
What time of day (work related comms are email/im during the day and email only afterhours)
What time of week, etc etc

The thought process is; Decide who you're going to contact, choose a method.

And I beleive the architecture should be build around that.

#7 whitemark

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 09:15 AM

This makes it a bit more clear:

... Gmail is now just another XMPP client that connects to the Google Talk network. So Gmail users will be able to chat with any of the millions of users on the Google Talk and Jabber networks.

Source: Official google Blog

Even if your friends are using a messenger, you'll still be able to see their status and chat with them through the browser. That's pretty cool ...

#8 radiorental

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 01:40 PM

Cool features aside (which have been around for a while: Trillian / Adium) You have to appreciate why google did this to begin to question whether this is a useful feature or not. Again, putting 'coolness' aside, which this definitely is. Firstly, its a given they want you to store more personal information on their system, a common aspect of using google products, I have no problem with functional business requirements. But...

Here's some interesting arguments from them on why this is a good idea for the user

"3. Why'd you add chat to Gmail?
Answer:...You don't have to use another program or switch between email and IM..."

Could I use the same argument for imbedding some firework image editing tools in to dreamweaver, cool: yes, useful:not necessarily. This specific point focuses on fixing what they correctly see as an issue - unnessecary time spend switching between applications. That shouldnt be requirement for changing the design, its something to be avoided when building a system that meets defined goals. If your defined goals are to reduce user frustration, then you need to start setting the bar a little higher and work on them earlier in the development process, pre public 'beta' release.

"4. Why should I use it?
Answer:...Because it's there, and it just works."

I kid you not, thats their top reason why you should use it. They go on to defend the concept of IM and how you might get to like it if you would just give it a little try.

I'm being a little hard on them. I'm just taking the point of view that a company with a team of some +40 in the user interface dept seem to miss the mark on so many levels. There is some light though, there's a gem of task driven design in there " The friends you're already emailing the most show up in your Quick Contacts as themselves, not the cryptic IM names they chose six years ago."

Aha!!! email and IM access to a common address book of the most frequently talked to contacts. Right on, thats freakin cool.

But as it stands it just appears they are leveraging information extraction by putting email links in to gtalk and records of IM's in to a folder in gmail with a frequent contact list as an after thought. I'd also voice a cautionary note on cross linking between apps, currently its ok but not scaleable past 3-4 comms apps (ok, so its 1 mail app and 1 IM/Voip/Video app.. but never say never more than 5 computers ever (early IBM reference))

From the googleblog
"My own chats contained a lot of important information that was always getting lost. I found myself cutting, pasting and emailing important chats to myself so I could find them later."

So, turn on your chat history already!! This isnt reason enough to allow feature creep in to your flagship email app is it? That sounds like justification after the event to me.

"Another thing that bothered me is that whenever I wanted to get in touch with someone, I had to pick a specific application. For email, I'd have to sign into Gmail. For IM, I had to choose between the two or three programs I used regularly."

Whats the real problem here Google? Why are you picking a specific app in the first place? because you have decided you want to talk to John Doe, and you would prefer email over IM at this point in time. You didnt decide 'hey I feel like writing an email.. let me go to gmail and find a contact', you did decide 'I really need to speak with John, its monday, he's probably too busy for an IM right now, I'll just send him a mail'.

Common address book with links to each app solves this, not merging disparate communication mediums at a functional integration level.

btw, this topic is a little obsession of mine, I'd really appreciate other's views on where I'm wrong.

Edited by radiorental, 08 February 2006 - 02:04 PM.


#9 rickshaw

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 11:14 PM

I think the integration of email, IM, and GTalkphone is a smart idea! It keeps everything in one screen at the same time. Making you more efficient. It also makes it simple and user-friendly.

#10 bragadocchio

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:18 AM

Hi Rickshaw,

Welcome to the forums.

I think that radiorental has convinced me - the important thing may just be a shared address book, rather than the intergration of email, IM, and Phone. There is a lot to be said for keeping these applications as simple as possible, and I just don't see a useful integration amongst the three that makes it useful to have them connected in the same interface.



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