More Informative Chat Icons

In my previous post, I gave a few examples of how icons could be used to communicate more information, particularly when they reside in the Dock (or application launchers in other environments like the KDE Kicker or GNOME panel). This is the logical evolution of the iChat idea (also applicable to Proteus, given its current icon), changing the color of the balloon portion to reflect the user’s availability status.

Available

  1. Available for text chat only:

    Green bubble icon indicating text chat availability

  2. Available for text and audio chat:

    Green bubble icon indicating text and audio chat availability

  3. Available for text, audio, and video chat:

    Green bubble icon indicating text, audio, and video chat availability

Unavailable

  1. Unavailable, capable of only text chat:

    Red bubble icon indicating text chat unavailability

  2. Unavailable, capable of text and audio chat:

    Red bubble icon indicating text and audio chat unavailability

  3. Unavailable, capable of text, audio, and video chat:

    Red bubble icon indicating text, audio, and video chat unavailability

The default blue would be used when the user was offline or invisible.

Published by

Daniel J. Wilson

I am a designer, drummer, and photographer in Brooklyn, NY.

2 thoughts on “More Informative Chat Icons”

  1. You may want to additionally consider persons with red-green color blindness. Since all of these icons have exactly the same form and have roughly the same levels of saturation and value, it’s likely that an anomalous trichromat could not distinquish between them. To be fair, this specific form of color blindness is belived to impact less than 1% of the population.

    Just some additional food for thought. I really enjoy seeing your ideas for software UI improvments. Thanks for all you do.

    Bob

  2. Thanks, Bob. I’ll experiment with shapes as a means of communicating the status without relying on color.

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