This summer I am co-mentoring Rares Visalom and Kunaal Jain for a Google Summer of Code internship in Polari.
Kunaal Jain is working on search and Rares Visalom is working on various user experience improvements. In this relation I’ve had the chance to be involved with designing some of the new features.
Being able to search is one of the major milestones expected of a chat client and includes:
- Searching for conversations
- Searching for links
- Searching for users
The design is tailored to IRC communication. Results are divided into chunks of conversations and the search prioritizes conversations where you participated or conversations where a link was shared. There are still some details to be thought out but Allan Day made wires as a foundation of how searching would work. Here is a screenshot of one of them:
One of the work-in-progress wires from Allan’s Search mockup.
There’s also plans for implementing a popover which can be activated by clicking a user. One of the goals with doing this is to make it faster to message users from the chat context. One feature I’m particularly excited about here is the ability to enable notifications for certain offline users so you will know when they become online again. The popover is also a nice opportunity to convey the blue/grey convention used to indicate online/offline status.
One of the work-in-progress wires from my user popover mockup.
It is planned that many of these features also will be available from Polari’s user list.
One of the work-in-progress wire of updated userlist details.
Last year during my own internship I worked on improving the initial setup experience by providing a blank state. Allan has made designs for initial setup to facilitate even faster setup of Polari which in some future also could feature easy migration from other IRC clients.
One of the work-in-progress wires from Allan’s Initial Setup mockup.
We are anticipating other features for Polari in the near future including:
- Nickserv automation
- Show a roomlist in the join room dialog
- Various interface smarts based on history
More details are also available in Polari’s Roadmap. It’s pretty exciting! Those interested in contributing can help make the list even longer by checking out Polari’s homepage on how to get started. I would be more than happy to help anyone getting started should they should chime into #polari.