I love that there is experimentation going on with the chat interface and people are just testing the waters. Very cool.
In this particular case, for just social chat, I find this interface (design and flow) really agitating. I'll explain why.
I find it busy and hard to follow chronology. People scroll. There is no need to stuff all those six conversations into one screen view in this fashion. My eyes zig zag like a drunkard in traffic trying to follow the chronology. Time is important in chat. Make it easy to follow.
People are in chat, to chat. The bubble forms attract more attention to the bubbles (line forms, gradients) The adaptive line forms around the text are even more agitating. I feel like I'm watching a game of Tetris unfold.
Aside from blinking (and the rate of blinking) movement (again, rate and speed) is one of the most aggressive forms of visual communication, signaling, aka - screaming.
Aggressive motion triggers our primal brain, we glance the periphery and hope a lion will not eat us. :)
As is the case with the chat bubbles, I feel like the motion is distracting from the main reason you are there - to chat.
Focus on readability, first and foremost.
I do think elements of this concept have some utility and you're onto some things.
Transactional chats, bots that deliver services, some of these elements could be quite useful there.
If there was a Robinhood Bot - - and the bot was pushing me financial advice or allowing me to transact within the bot chat, some of these larger elements and sweeping motions would be good for user feedback.
The missed opportunity.
I'm surprised you didn't do more with the text input (command line) of the chat. I thought Peach was onto something with their "magic words" command line inputs. The opportunity to call up other functionality in /Slack is the primitive nod to what's coming.
Heuristically, the chat input (command line) requires less finger/ thumb extension versus stuffing interaction higher up within the context of the conversation.
Very cool thinking, and just executing to test it.
Thanks for sharing your work.
I think you're right about commands within messaging being the next game-changing interaction. It's hard to imagine each app will have its own language. One will win out and all new messaging apps will have to support it.
I agree with Giovanni: its lovely to look at, but it seems less functional than existing chat systems , especially the home screen. I'd love to hear your rationale behind these design choices. As a frequent texter, I am primarily interested in my home screen giving me the quickest, cleanest overview of my most recent texts in reverse chronological order, in a format I'm used to (a list). In your redesign, I get less information in a more convoluted layout.
The different status signifiers on messages are nice... that eye is cute and clever, but I'd rather the people I'm chatting with not have that information about what actions I have taken on my end (sometimes I need more time to think about my response than I want to let on...)
Also, the iphone has the push notification response option already, but it is still an example of forward-thinking on your part. That and the 'like' option on messages are both really nice touches. Great job overall!
WHEN DESIGN ATTACKS!
This weeks victim: the humble chat timeline!
I don't see a single improvement but rather the opposite.
Would love to hear why you think that.
You lost me at "Rethinking".
I believe the reason he said it's a downgrade and not an improvement is because you sacrificed functionality for looks - the home page especially wastes a lot of space without bringing any extra functionality (or looking particularly good in my opinion). The chat window itself is not conceptually different from what's currently being used, it just wastes more space.
The presentation is nice though.
Perhaps you could clarify why that's the case?
Constructive criticism at its best.
This is amazing, Pranav! I really like how you made the fluid message bubbles, and how they change color depending on their status. The animated icons are the shit, too. The “likes” on individual messages are great too. Damn, dude. Great job!
I have started this post on new interaction ideas for a chat interface a while ago. It's only halfway through it's completion I have a few more ideas to include, which will be added in the coming days.
It would be great if you could go through it and provide your feedback.
I like where it's headed but as another commenter mentioned, it feels heavy on interaction polish and light on design thinking. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. The polish is top-notch.
The only thing that feels like a major departure from the status quo is the homescreen which to me is hard to read/parse and you haven't included rationale behind that layout. At the very least, I think the contact/group should be emphasized over the latest message for better information hierarchy.
I see you're using Quartz for the animations. How does that tool compare to Principle in your experience?
Thanks for the feedback, Will be adding a rationale section for the home screen in the future. Sorry, I haven't tried Principle yet, to give you a thorough comparison between the two.