Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taking away information

Streamie was always a very selfish project. I wanted to build a Twitter client that is optimized for my personal usage. That is consuming tweets from about 350 people on my main account.
I have to be brutally honest: I have always used a second Twitter client (Tweetie aka Twitter for Mac) in parallel. That is because Streamie does not support multiple accounts which is a feature that I need. Why did I not implement this? Because it is not important for my consumption habits. On all the other accounts (@jsconfeu, @hhjs, @streamie and some others) I never actually read the tweets but only look out for mentions and DMs.
That said Streamie is moving forward as a get-out-of-your-way tweet-consumption application: All information that is not completely necessary to read a tweet has been removed from the default view. You can't see the name of the author (but his avatar (This works for me even though I suck at remembering faces)), the age of the tweets or any buttons at all. Just the avatar and the text.
I was recently experimenting with integrating embedly and a two-pane view to view content without navigating away. People hated it and it was against the simplicity of Streamie. People actually like opening background tabs for later reading.
In adition to this several small refinements have recently landed in Streamie
  • The ugly t.co links shortened by Twitter are replaced with a short version of the actual URL. Clicking the link does not go through t.co. This is good for your privacy and also much faster.
  • You can now choose for which type of tweet (all, mentions, DM) you want to be notified. Differently colored favicons are used to for notification through the tab-bar.
  • When somebody deletes a tweet, the tweet content is displayed with a strike and you can actually delete your own tweets.
I'm very open for more ideas about information that can be thrown away or hidden behind a hover or click (please comment). I'm not completely happy with the current hover behavior. At least for touch devices this needs to be changed to a click and maybe it should be a click everywhere (Opinions?).

Update: I changed the rollover info to never resize the tweet. The layout jumping was too much.
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