Usability problems.

jfrisby's Avatar


08 Feb, 2016 05:49 AM

  1. No apparent way to control the color scheme, font, and font size of chats. The white-on-green format for chats presents a very poor contrast that makes reading things difficult. Same for fonts.
  2. App doesn't remember open chats across sessions, which makes for a tedious workflow.
  3. Opening chats in rapid succession causes chats to be mis-labeled or labeled simply as "Untitled". This becomes more of a problem because of the above.
  4. No easy way to see which people have sent me messages while I was offline -- I have to scroll through the entire list.
  5. When clicking a chat tab to switch to it, the text field does not get focus.
  6. No keyboard shortcuts to switch between active chats, and to open a new chat with someone?
  7. Clicking a notification does not activate the chat with the relevant sender, it just focuses the window
  8. Numerous cases of layouting jitter while typing are visually distracting.
  9. Immense amount of wasted space. The tabs can be a lot shorter. Maybe make this an option, if you're concerned, but when I want to tile windows, it means less chat on screen in favor of a minor aid to clicking -- and since I would prefer to navigate by keyboard, it's especially annoying.

These make the app incredibly cumbersome to use, and in many cases they amplify one another to make it an especially frustrating experience.

I'm deeply frustrated that I have basically two options for Google Hangouts right now:

  1. A truly native app like Adium.
    • Pros:
      1. Adheres to platform-native UX conventions for notifications, click behavior, focus behavior, etc.
      2. Can be used exclusively from keyboard for basically everything I need.
      3. Easy on battery.
      4. Customizable skinning lets me hit my own sweet-spot for readability, screen-space allocation, etc.
    • Cons:
      1. No offline messages for Google Hangouts because it's using XMPP.
      2. No inline view of images from Google Hangouts because it's using XMPP.
  2. This app that uses an embedded web browser.
    • Pros:
      1. Offline messages for Google Hangouts.
      2. Inline images for Google Hangouts.
    • Cons:
      1. Higher battery drain.
      2. Numerous performance problems and bugs -- both semantic and visual -- stemming from the use of clunky JS/DOM for the UI.
      3. Poorly thought out workflow, in terms of session management, activation and focus.
      4. Nearly unreadable display.
      5. Zero respect for accessibility mechanisms of the platform, or even just the existence of the keyboard as a navigation mechanism.

... come to think of it, I think I just convinced myself this is not a useful app.

I mean, history is important and not seeing messages offline has been driving me insane, but... at least when I get a message I can read it without having to squint at the screen! ... and I can be sure it'll be attributed to the person who sent it!

I'll keep an eye on your changelogs in the hope things get better, but I'd like for you to understand that I almost never put "ancillary" concerns above correctness in core areas, and offline messages is such a core area, but the weight of problems and frustrations I've had in ancillary areas has managed to outweigh that core concern and that's rather disheartening.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by support on 09 Feb, 2016 02:21 AM

    support's Avatar


    Thank your suggestion, the main problem of native app like Adium (which use XMPP) is it Google doesn't support Groupt Chat, and Video Call session.
    That why we didn't use XMPP in our app. We are working on a new version , thanks you for your comments, we will have improvement in new version.

    Mac Appsters Team.

  2. 2 Posted by jfrisby on 09 Feb, 2016 02:27 AM

    jfrisby's Avatar

    Can you be more specific about which (if any) of the issues listed above will be included, and what your expected timeframe for release is?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by support on 09 Feb, 2016 02:38 AM

    support's Avatar

    We will try work on issues 2,3 ,5,6,7,8,9 first. Our eta on next version is in next month.


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