Skype group chat

Skype. 2004

Interaction design, UI production, usability evaluation

Brief

Design the next generation of Skype text chat, enhancing the concept to multi-person interaction and improving the general chat experience.

What I did

Building upon concepts in modern and historic communication solutions (email, text messaging/SMS, other IM clients, IRC) I came up with a solution that connects many of their best aspects. I conceived several features seen on the above 2004 screenshot, such as action buttons dynamically appearing and disappearing upon hovering over the profile of a given user, and connecting the speech bubble with β€œme”. The dynamic buttons were novel at the time, but have in later years become commonplace in many interfaces.

I acted as the project manager and lead designer for the feature, doing a large part of the invention, interaction design, specification and documentation work, engaging engineers and other designers as needed.

Outcome

The Skype chat user experience has been enhanced in later years, but the basic concepts such as persistence and basic multi-person chat model have stood the test of time and remain unchanged.