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Here are some of the bugs/inconsistencies/improvements for the usage of Gravatars in the Chat system, identified by me and others:

Regular usage:

  • Hovering over your own Gravatar shows your UserID, while hovering over other users' Gravatars shows their Display Names. UPDATE: It turns out that if you join a new room, it actually shows your Display Name at the beginning. Not sure why the first room doesn't. UPDATE #2: Jared Harley wrote in the comments that:

I discovered that I can see everyone's usernumber on hover, you just have to hover above and below the user's image. I'm guessing it's a problem with a div or something

  • The fly-in and fly-out motion of Gravatars when users enter or leave a chat room is distracting - instead of displaying a large motion effect, I think Gravatars should just fade in/out from the "people here" bar itself.

Bouncing on mentions: Whenever you are mentioned by someone in a message on Chat, your Gravatar starts bouncing up and down, prompting you to either say something or click the Gravatar to stop the bouncing.

  • Have the bouncing end after a few seconds - currently, the bouncing never ends unless you click the icon or say something in Chat, which can get somewhat annoying, especially if you don't want to take your hands off of your keyboard. I think the bouncing should end on its own after 5 seconds or so.
  • Make the bouncing more useful - when we click the Gravatar to stop the bouncing, it should do something more useful, like highlighting which message was the one that triggered the bouncing in the first place.
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Also worth mentioning: Make the user list include the user's name. There are a lot of names I recognize on SO, whose avatars I don't remember (not to mention that they might change their pictures at some point). Also, much harder to scan for friends in a chat room this way. –  Edan Maor Jul 14 '10 at 23:47
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I really like the fly-in/out of the gravatars. Although until I read this, I had no idea what the bouncing was about. –  womp Jul 14 '10 at 23:49
    
Just adding to the UserID issue: It is definitely not happening in all rooms. For me, I currently only see it in "Chat feedback". –  Mark Hurd Jul 15 '10 at 1:58
    
@Mark updated question. thanks for your input –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 15 '10 at 2:00
    
@Maxim Just as I leave all rooms (manually) the last one was SQL and it definitely showed my name before, but now doesn't. So it seems it may be an off by one error and/or a 0/1 starting number error. –  Mark Hurd Jul 15 '10 at 2:33
    
Okay, after some "extensive" testing, I discovered that I can see everyone's usernumber on hover, you just have to hover above and below the user's image. I'm guessing it's a problem with a div or something –  Jared Harley Jul 15 '10 at 3:04
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'll mark this [status-completed], but since you have several points, I'll address them here:

  • Clicking the bouncing avatar now scrolls to the message that mentioned you (the first one, if there are several).
  • The inconsistent tooltip issue is fixed. It now always shows just the user name – although I'm open to suggestions as to what exactly should be in there.
  • Regarding the fly-in/-out animation, Andy E's head's answer* is pretty much what I think, and it seems that the majority agrees with that.
  • Regarding stopping the bouncing after a few seconds – the bouncing (or at least some kind of notification) is especially useful when you have been away from your screen; the message mentioning you might already have scrolled off when you come back.

* that's a weird thing to say

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+1, some nice improvements there. –  Andy E Jul 15 '10 at 10:37
    
Thanks! One quick thing: I think the bouncing-avatar-scroll is a little buggy, because I clicked my bouncing Gravatar and it scrolled up to the one-before-last time I was mentioned, not the latest time. –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 15 '10 at 16:46
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Hovering over your own Gravatar shows your UserID, while hovering over other users' Gravatars shows their Display Names.

Display name (feedback score) would be better IMO.

The fly-in and fly-out motion of Gravatars when users enter or leave a chat room is distracting - instead of displaying a large motion effect, I think Gravatars should just fade in/out from the "people here" bar itself.

I like that the fly-in draws my attention to someone entering the room, it's nice to be able to notice people entering and greet them accordingly. I actually prefer this to the IRC announcements, <nick> joined #<channel>. It also displays the screen name so you know how to address them, whereas you wouldn't recognise everybody's gravatar.

Have the bouncing end after a few seconds - currently, the bouncing never ends unless you click the icon or say something in Chat, which can get somewhat annoying, especially if you don't want to take your hands off of your keyboard. I think the bouncing should end on its own after 5 seconds or so.

If you're afk making a cup of tea, 5 seconds is a bit short :-) I think I'd prefer if this were handled in the onkeypress event in the chat box.

Make the bouncing more useful - when we click the Gravatar to stop the bouncing, it should do something more useful, like highlighting which message was the one that triggered the bouncing in the first place.

Agreed.

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Edit: Now a feature request! See Chat user interface suggestion


I'm not quite sure why, but I think the chat controls would feel more natural on the right, rather than the left.

My idea, as seen below, would be to move the arrow thing to the right side of each chat "bubble". The controls would appear on mouseover, like now, but we could star or flag right from there (the most common tools) without having to have a second window to do that in. The arrow would let you open the window to access other controls, permalink, etc.

On your own posts, which you can't flag or star, you could change the controls to edit/delete, as those are the most common things to do on your own posts.

alt text

If you don't do this, at least close the pop-up window when I click in the text entry field, rather than make me aim for the little gray close button.

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I completely agree! –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 15 '10 at 4:31
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I suggest that you convert your answer into a new [feature-request] question. Be sure to tag it Meta Stack Exchange Chat! –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 15 '10 at 4:34
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