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 and history based on the Skype VoIP system. Emphasis was put on representing histories of communication. Most groups developed scenarios, created lo-fi prototypes, tested their UI, and created working prototypes using the Skype API. The following projects were presented on May 2, 2006.
|Blue Ring. Our group basically wanted to design a simple a interface that added features to Skype that did not already exist. Our target users were heavy Skype users, like an office worker who frequently uses Skype to make long distance business calls, or an International student who uses Skype to call friends and family at home. The main feature that we focused on was creating a visual interface that displayed Historical information about past calls. We displayed this information in a daily table with all users that we called that day, sorted by time and user. We also color coded the table based on the type of call, outgoing, incoming, etc. Other features that we added included a more group based contact list (similar to buddy lists in instant messengers) and displaying useful information during a call like the user's location and local time.|
|But Not Least. Our design followed the "match between system and the real world" heuristic most closely. We knew from the beginning that our focus group of non-expert adolescent computer users would require conference call support first and foremost. The circle, it seemed to us, best meshed with the group metaphor (we imagined teenagers sitting in a circle). At the core of the circle we placed the user's icon to solidify the relationship between the primary subject and its implementation. The design is built to be highly customizable and docked along the edge of screen.|
|I Love UID. ChildSkype is a program to supplement the Skype interface with a fun, simple, easy-to-use interface for children. ChildSkype allows the parent to enter the setup of the interface with a password, control what numbers can call in and/or their child can dial out, and view a call history that shows a visual representation of the duration of calls placed. The target user group for this interface is for young children between the ages of 4 and 10.|
|NYC Skypescrapers. Our project was aimed at group collaboration among a number of Computer Science Students. We wanted to allow students to use Skype to help with their project management and tracking. Our project consisted of 3 main additions. A new window that allowed the user to view his contacts grouped into a tree. A wizard to allow users to create a new project and project group along with a start date, end date, and intermediate deadlines. The history timeline allows a user to see a visualization of the contact he/she has had over the course of the project. Clicking on a set of icons for a day brings up an even closer view of the timeline for that specific day. These three additions allow a user to more efficiently manage their projects and keep track of progress.|
|Off the Hook. Our program is targeted towards college students who are looking to communicate through Skype. Our interface, much like the Skype interface, is modeled after instant messaging clients. We constantly present users of our program with their contact list. Contacts are color coded to denote their status (online, away, etc.) Clicking on a contact enables one to view that contact's details. Furthermore, clicking on the history button will quickly display a user's activities. These activities can be sorted into categories such as missed calls, dialed calls, etc. Some of our special features include the ability to add ring tones to notify a user when a certain contact is calling. Also, we have enhanced the conference calling feature to easily add, drop, or initiate a conference call. All in all, our interface is a college student-friendly interface that presents the user with as much information as possible without cluttering the space.|
|Skrap. Our target user logs on to our system looking for personal feedback for a selection of courses that he/she is considering taking. Upon entering the search dialogue, our user is presented with a list of courses offered for a given semester. Each course has a heuristic associated with it which describes the number of referrals that our user can obtain for that class given our user's contacts. Any non-zero entry signifies that other users are available for our user to inquire about a referral. First, our user must select a class that has a non-zero referral rating. After a class with non-zero rating is selected, a graphical tree is presented to the user. This tree has our user as the root with connections from our user to people on his/her contact list. From there, our user can see if any of the users on his contact list took the course in question, and if so, contact them directly.|
Skype Pack. Our application was originally designed with a very specific user in mind: a researcher who conducts regular (e.g. weekly/monthly) interviews with small groups of subjects (in a conference call) to get their subjective feedback on the effects of a specific drug. The main intention of our program was to help this user with planning needs by showing on top the "least recently called" group (the group to be called next), along with the date and time of the last outgoing call to that group (to help the researcher plan their next call time). During development we got bogged down with the Skype API on implementing the "functional" aspects of making calls, receiving calls, managing conference calls, showing simple history (per user), all of which work fairly well. We underestimated the difficulty of synchronizing with the Skype API. Also, we also some early interface decisions which made it difficult to display certain things more cleanly.
If we could do it all over again, we would first develop a common protocol to follow in dealing with the Skype API. We would also choose not to rely on Skype's historical data as heavily as we did. These errant initial design choices were the main reasons for our slow progress, and essentially, for running out of time and not getting to fix some, perhaps more important, aspects of the interface.
|Skype_Masters v 22.214.171.124. Our application provides multiple users with the best alternative to talking online. The user interface makes it easy for people to make conference calls with each other and provides a user friendly mechanism to keep track of the user's groups of contacts.|
|Streamline. Streamline's Skype interface is for the businessman – modeled after a middleman in the produce industry – who may have limited experience with computers but is commonly adept with the cell phone. This professional design, as characterized by neutral tones and sorting tables paralleling Microsoft Excel, combines Skype-calling functionality with Contact List and Call History features, allowing businessmen to call their most frequent or most recent contacts.|
|The Itis. Cool Caller is a program that helps Telemarketers, "Cold" Callers, or any one interested in calling a long list of contacts. It allows the user to import a Microsoft Excel file containing a list of contacts and their information. The user is then able to call these contacts through the Skype API. Information for each contact can be updated via the software. When the user is done with a session of calls, he/she can save the information into an Excel file.|
|UI Alchemists. Skype for Interviewers is an addition to the Skype interface intended to assist interviewers at small start-ups and head-hunter companies interested in evaluating candidates for software engineering positions. Such interviewers would use Skype to conduct interviews because it reduces calling costs. The design, therefore, consists of four main elements: management of candidate information, interview scheduling, a date-filtered contacts list, and a search functionality that allows the interviewer to easily sort through the various interviews, both already conducted and planned to be conducted. The result is a set of features that may be packaged and run on top of the Skype interface—much like a plug-in for start-up interviewers. This screen shot shows a sampling of search results in the Search tab of the main browser after a search was conducted.|
|Worst Interface Ever. Our user interface is targeted at business users who need to make calls and conference calls daily to conduct business need to be able to keep track of their interactions and keep it as simple as possible. To fulfill this design goal, we have implemented a scheduler to help with visualizing call history, a simple contact list and a call interface. All three were designed with the goal to be as familiar with the user as possible, whether the familiarity comes from real world models (such as the scheduler) or already existing computer user interfaces (such as the contact list).|