Continuing the discussion from Babble - A Chat Plugin:
Babble (i.e. Chat) as an extension of PMs, as seen on Facebook
As opposed to a shoutbox or public chat, I’d like to see Babble incorporated into PMs. Pretty much exactly like Facebook does. There’s a lot I don’t like about Facebook, but I’m hard pressed to find anything negative to say about its Chat experience. I think it’s very cleverly designed, the way in which it invites both short-form and long-form messages by presenting the user with two alternative chat interfaces:
- The gutter widget (non-existent in Discourse)
- The full-page chat (very similar to PMs in Discourse)
I think Discourse stands to gain a lot from incorporating (1) as well.
Take for instance the UX for PM-ing a user about a tiny detail in their post. Things like typos, prompts for updates etc.
How “Message” works now
1 - You start out here:
2 - And clicking “Message” takes you here:
(which in Sam’s case is unusually scary with Gavin Belson ominously scrutinising your post)
The problem is that you’ve been transported to a different room altogether, when really all you wanted to do (or so I’m positing anyways) was to have a brief sidebar with this person, only to resume to the main discussion at hand moments thereafter. This is what Facebook does so well with its in-page chat widgets. You can easily send someone a quick nudge without disrupting disrupting your super-productive session of Facebooking.
How “Message” could work
1 - What if this:
2 - Took me to something like this instead? (not leaving the page)
Which could be continued like this:
And be accessed via something like this:
This could also play very nicely with User Friending/Following and Presence features. Think: If you follow a user who follows you back, that’s the handshake necessary for the two of you to see one another’s online status.
In summary: Default Private Messages instigated via topics to an in-page chat interface, with the option of moving into the full-page editor if you’re looking to write a longform message.