Monday, July 23, 2007

Invisible mode on Gtalk

Gtalk should provide the feature of invisible mode, giving us (the users) the freedom of remain logged in the way we want.

In comparison Yahoo provides an option of logging in as well as switching to the invisible mode after logging in.

15 comments:

Umesh said...

True. But Gtalk doesnt have the invisible feature at all!!!! :-)

Upma_Sharma said...

Yeh Umesh...thats what i stated that gtalk doesnt have this feature "invisible mode" at all and in contrast yahoo gives user both the options.

Umesh said...

Why would you want that feature? Can you please give a meaningful use case to it. This is not for argument sake. But a genuine reason why you want it.

Whenever you add one feature to your product you should have strong use cases to support it and explain how bad it is in the absence of the new suggested feature. Remember Ipod doesnt have a stop button?

PS MSN also doesnt have this feature.

Umesh said...

Just thought of sharing these links to you where they say the less features the more usable the product.

http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/163-screens-around-town-the-difference-is-obvious

http://www.37signals.com/svn/archives2/less_is_more_is_bullshit.php

Upma_Sharma said...

Would like to tell you that MSN had this option, it just that they have used different words for it "Appear offline".

Reason why I want the invisible mode is that there are times when
I don't want few people who are there in my list to see that I am online and ping me. For example if I am talking to someone in the office for work purpose I wont like to talk to anybody else at that point of time. It all about giving an option to the user to maintain their privacy when they want to do so.

Upma_Sharma said...

Umesh, the links you sent are appropriate for those applications. But then its all about maintaining a balance balance between useful and extra features.

Umesh said...

Upma, Its not just applicable to few products. Its applicable to all the products. The less the user has to do, the more easy will be for him to use it. Well that should be the first thing a product designer should understand.

Ok. When you come up with a new use case, the next thing you have to think is, if the new suggested feature is not there, can the user still achieve the use case? eg: you said if the user doesnt want to be disturbed while doing something, is going invisible is the only way? If the feature is not there, can he still achieve it by some other way?

Why Gtalk is liked by many? Coz its lean and mean. Its simple interface and less but enough features.

There is this book called "Getting real" from the company 37 signals who have the most succesful web 2.0 products now. The book is considered bible for the new age product development.

Chapter 5 of the book talks about Feature selection. Checkout the link

http://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch05_Half_Not_Half_Assed.php

Its good that you read the book which will give u a whole new insight towards product development.

Umesh said...

I just remembered one story

Microsoft's had Zune claimed that it has a wifi function using which one can share the music to a friend, which plays three times and then ask the friend to buy the song.

Apple answered saying song sharing is still possible using IPod. Ipod has a real long earphone cable which can be given to the friend for him to listen to the song. :-)

Upma_Sharma said...

Thanks for the link and the story, but then there is difference between extra feature which is not that useful and a feature which gives user a good experience. And I cant find a way in gtalk which gives an option to the user of logging in and still making sure that the user wont be seen online.

Umesh said...

I got your point and i never said the yahoo feature is not usable. But how useful it is, is the question. usable vs useful. Why would i want to be online but dont want anyone to see me online? Coz i dont want anyone to send me message? then i would better be offline right? Still people can send you messages and the moment you come online you see them or you see them in your gmail. Its true that when you are online you wouldnt want one or two people to disturb. You can very well block them.

Also the fact that i never knew that there is a invisible feature in msn says that there are people who never used that feature. I never used it. Never wanted to. I always had other ways of accomplishing that need.

tej said...

i think gtalk has to be equipped with "invisible to everyone" option.

i think it is the only draw back of gtalk

for example, some times when i am in work, i want to get noticed whether my lecturer is online or not and i dont want my other friends to disturb me.

yahoo gives this ption and gtalk does not.

Pranav Prakash said...

You can log into google talk with the invisible mode. There is a hack that we have developed. And you can read it at This blog

Cali said...

here it is an version which has invisible option

http://www.google.com/talk/labsedition/

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, that I interrupt you, I too would like to express the opinion.

Anonymous said...

Curiously, and the analogue is?