This post is part of a series of articles introducing some noteworthy improvements to eXo Platform. Watch this blog for more product news in the upcoming weeks.
The chat application built inside eXo Platform is getting a major facelift as well as some usability improvements. With this set of improvements we have set out to:
- Modernize the look of the chat application and make it fit better with the new Enterprise Skin introduced for eXo Platform version 5.0.
- Make the chat application easier to use.
- Improve the mobile user experience.
- Introduce the ability for users to leave chat rooms.
- A Look at The New Chat Interface:
This improvement is a continuation of our effort to adopt a cleaner, flatter and overall nicer looking user interface design platform-wide.
It was important that we focus on bringing this to Chat next since the Chat app is considered as the hub for real-time collaboration within eXo Platform today, and we all know the importance of improving the way teams stay connected and work in real-time today.
Here is what the new design looks like on desktop browsers:
And here’s what it looks like on mobile (i.e. on our iOS and Android mobile app as well as through the native responsive web layout):
As mentioned above and just like all features that we design, this new interface is fully web responsive:
- Chat Usability Improvements:
We introduced some improvements geared at making the chat more intuitive to its users.
No need to use the specific @ sign to filter users using the search box anymore. Now you have a dedicated search field right above the list of discussions where you can simply type in the user, room or space name in order to display it in the list of discussions.
You also get two simple filters letting you choose how your list of discussion is displayed. The first allows you to select the order in which discussions are sorted by default, while the second lets you filter the type of discussions that are listed for you:
Searching for messages inside the chat is now done by simply using the search button located inside each discussion at the top:You can cycle through quick search results within messages easily as they are highlighted for you:
Other minor usability improvements include the list of users located on the left-side pane of the discussion: It now lists all participants by default (instead of only ones who are online). This way you can see clearly who exactly is part of the discussion room you’re in and what their current presence status is
- Mobile User Experience Improvements:
The chat’s usability in terms of the mobile experience has been an area of focus in this upcoming version. We wanted to make sure that users can now work seamlessly with the chat application from the mobile devices. All user actions have therefore been carefully designed and tested to be doable easily and naturally by mobile users. Below are a few examples of this.
- Listing discussions on mobile
- Filtering discussions on mobile is now quicker and easier to do:
- Tapping on a discussion opens it so you can discuss and read the latest messages. Here, you can now execute any of the collaborative actions in an easier way on mobile:
- Listing of discussion participants on mobile is also clear and straightforward:
- When the user holds a tap on a conversation, a popup is displayed containing some possible actions related to the pressed conversation. These include adding the discussion to favorites or viewing the profile of the user with whom the discussion is taking place:
- Ability for Users to Leave Chat Rooms:
As a chat user in a busy collaborative environment, you may sometimes find yourself part of a chat room of which you are not or are no longer interested in being a member. As such you may wish to leave the room in order to clear your list of discussions and reduce the number of uninteresting notifications that you receive.
Driven by customer feedback, we have now added this feature.
Simply go to the chat room you want to leave, tap on its menu icon from the top bar and select “Leave Room”:
That is essentially it for this set of chat improvements. We hope that you like what you see so far. 😉
Stay tuned for more previews on what is being cooked for the upcoming 5.1 release eXo Platform 5.