Students were asked to form four-person teams to come up with a specific user group and design a user interface for that group that involved audio communication, interaction, and history based on the Skype VoIP system. Emphasis was put on representing histories of communication and group interaction through direct manipulation. Most groups designed scenarios, created lo-fi prototypes, tested their UI, and developed working prototypes using the Skype API. The following projects were presented on Dec 13, 2006.
|LXSR. In this product we married skype and VNC. We added an ability for skype users to share their desktop without having to know anything at all about VNC or remote computing. All preferences, passwords, ports, etc. are hidden from the user; all they have to do is check "share my desktop" on their side, and the person on the other end will have a tab with the view of the shared desktop. In the upper left corner you see the "Fave Three" panel, which helps you keep people you call the most within your reach. You can make calls by drag-and-drop, and view visual history of your calls using a zoomable timeline. (Alexei Masterov, Roman Bystritskiy, Xiao Song, and Alexandra Stoeva)|
|Team Final Project. Our application is designed for people who need to remotely communicate both audibly and visually. This is potentially useful for a variety of people, from friends who can draw a map to give directions, to designers who can sketch out and collaborate on ideas, to businessmen who can draw up charts and share notes while talking. Our contact list puts all skype functionality at your fingertips, and our sketchpad allows users to communicate visually.|
|Skype4Kids. We developed Skype4Kids for children ages 5 through 10. Our main goal was to make the system very simple to use, so we focused on making the UI self-explanatory and reduced the number of clicks a user has to make to get something done. To appeal to children, we used bright colors and large buttons. We also decided to give parents the ability to choose whom their child can call and whom they can receive calls from. Parents can also monitor their child’s call history. In addition, because children love drawing, we created a built-in sketchpad for Skype4Kids. All users that are part of a call (we support conference calling), and who are running Skype4Kids (as opposed to other versions of Skype) can draw on a common sketchpad board using tools such as pencils and paintbrushes.|
SupportGroupSkype. Support groups represent a vast and important component of America’s non-institutionalized mental and physical health apparatus. These groups range from the highly organized Alcoholic Anonymous, with hundreds of chapters and thousands of members, to unorganized local groups, such as a community mourning the loss of a beloved child.
SupportGroupSkype seeks to provide these groups with three main services:
SupportGroupSkype uses a social network, modeled as a graph, for its main interface. Each user sees other members of the group as nodes in the network, with individual node decoration indicating such things as online status, participation in a conversation, mood, and the group’s collective assessment for that individual. Edge decorations are used to describe connection history among users, and describe the regularity of individual connections as well as latency. Users can navigate the social network via direct manipulation, inspect other members of the group (general information and assessment), examine their interaction history, and initiate individual phone calls where necessary. Information areas and popup windows on the periphery display particular details about selected individuals, provide secondary controls for initiating telephone calls, and announce important information. During individual and conference calls, a special set of “mood controls” are available to help communicate what each user is feeling.
|Skypebook. Our group designed a enhanced Skype client, targeting the Facebook user group. As a result, we name it 'Skypebook', meaning it's a tool that brings the social networks of both Skype and Facebook together. To give Facebook users a comfortable and familiar look and feel, the contact list of Skypebook looks exactly like Facebook's "Friend List" and the history section has the same style as Facebook's "News Feed". With a Skype account, a Facebook user can make free phone calls, send chat, and even view Facebook friends' profiles. In addition, a Skypebook user can send an "acticon", an animated version of an emoticon, to another party in a call, which we believe to add more fun to the user's experiences.|
|SkypeBoard. This UI is targeted towards international students who wish to collaboratively view photos with their family members back home. All contacts are arranged on a histogram according to the number and length of past calls. We implemented a simple direct manipulation approach to handle calls and view images. To place calls, the user can drag and drop contacts from the histogram onto the CallBoard on the right side of the screen. To make a conference call, more contacts can be dropped onto the CallBoard. To end a call, contacts are dragged out of the CallBoard. To collaboratively view photos, any connected user can drag image URLs from a browser onto the ImageBoard at the bottom of the screen. The images are synchronized with all connected users. The preview and removal of images are also synchronized.|
|BAWSkype. BAWSkype is targeted to casual users familiar with Skype's functionality and equivalent icons, who wish to access Skype's main functions with more speed and efficiency. We utilized a radial menu to implement its functionality. The distance from the cursor to each function will be a small constant. Also, the appropriate angle of selection will be rather wide, since only 4 functions will be available in each menu, which allows a large area of directional error for each selection. As a result, a casual user can access these functions with more speed and efficiency. Also, such a radial menu is rather visually intuitive and has a very small learning curve for more novice users.|
Grape. Grape Skype is targeted at providing a user interface through which people can work and cooperate easily on their design job, besides talking and discussing verbally. Grape Skype is specially designed for people in different locations to work on the same design project. These people can be artists, architects or any group who want to work on the same project together simultaneously, and discuss and share work or ideas with each other.
Each user has his own work area, which shows just his work. He can draw by hand, load predefined geometry primitives and upload pictures. This area can be viewed by other users, but cannot be changed by other users. Each user also has a common work area, which selectively combines their own work with that of others. Users can easily retrieve the history of all design procedures, or share them with others.