It's a Mock WOrld
Some people like to live in dreams. Others like to live like those dreams can never be real. I like to make them come to life.
I've mentioned in a couple place recently that I'd been working on some mock-ups of a new interface for contacts management. I'm finally posting them here now, and hope I can figure out some of the details for getting it implemented, soon. The idea is to provide a very simple interface, and extra information about a user, which one wouldn't normally find in the address book interface. I also want to get rid of the concept of having sepparate "address books" that you manage separately from your actual contacts, that may even have the same contact in multiple places.
This is the simple list view for the contacts. Not sure what would belong in all the menus, or if it should even have any, yet. The current tool bar items are new contact, return to list view (would be greyed out in the view), and a combo box to filter the list. Filtering would work based on which store the contact is in, tags on the contact, names, status, and all the information assosiated with a contact, so it would pretty much be a "do what i mean" sort of interface. The content associated with the contacts, which ends up in the list view, is also not entirely specified, nor is the context menu which would pop up when right clicking. Opening a contact would use some neat clutter-like animation sequence and bring you to the Contact view:
Not entirely sure what the layout should be like exactly, as some of the things would require scrolling. Probably will just have one scrollbar for the whole canvas, and just overflow vertically where needed. Here the new contact item would be disabled in the toolbar, but I think the filter entry might be still useful, for condensing the information displayed for a contact. Typing "phone" to show only the contact's phone number information, for example. We could display a lot of information for a contact here, such as RSS feed data, flickr posts, related contacts, and similar things from web services. I want to find a nice balance and show the most pertinent information in the prominent top portion of the canvas though, such as useful free/busy agenda information, basic contact info, status, presence, and contact store locations.
This contacts UI is a small part of a much larger project I've been talking with some other hackers with, to unify the backends, and an access API, for getting at all this information, to really make people and relationships a first class part of the desktop. More news coming soon on that.