[jitsi-users] Suggestions to improve user-friendliness in Jitsi


#1

I have been trying to get people to use XMPP in the real world and
there are some issues with Jitsi which hinder people from switching
easily:

It would be nice to have a "register" Button for XMPP in the
welcome-screen so first time users can just add an account and start
chatting instead of searching a jabber-server and figuring out how to
register and finally logging in. I would recommend changing the
User-interface of the welcoming screen a bit so the XMPP-section of
the welcoming screen contains a register and a login button.
This would in fact be a bit against Jitsis nature as a multi messenger
but I think it would be worth it.

Also (If you realy want to be some kind of OpenSoucre Skype) I think
you should fokus on one protocol (XMPP would be the best choice, I
guess; while it is inferior to PSYC its widely adapted and there isn't
even PSYC support in Jitsi). I don't mean dropping support for other
protocols by that but making XMPP more prominent. for example you
could add an Register for an XMPP account at jit.si to your website
and redesign your welcoming-screen:

---------------------- |
XMPP |
username password |
login register |
---------------------- |

other protocols:

---------------------- |
name pass name pass |
name pass name pass |
name pass name pass |
  login |
---------------------- |

If you want to get non-techies you need to make good default choices
for them (that does not mean taking choice away from techies).

Maybe you should also think about changing the name XMPP back to
Jabber because, honestly, it just sounds better and is way more
catchy. (I know that this might be problematic)

What do you think about those Ideas?
- --
Yannik V�lker


#2

Hey Yannik,

Please find a few in-line comments first and a more generic one toward
the bottom.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

I have been trying to get people to use XMPP in the real world

That's appreciated! Thanks!

and
there are some issues with Jitsi which hinder people from switching
easily:

It would be nice to have a "register" Button for XMPP in the
welcome-screen so first time users can just add an account and start
chatting instead of searching a jabber-server and figuring out how to
register and finally logging in.

Well the welcome screen also allows the option to connect to Facebook an
Google Talk so this should reduce the difficulty above.

I would recommend changing the
User-interface of the welcoming screen a bit so the XMPP-section of
the welcoming screen contains a register and a login button.
This would in fact be a bit against Jitsis nature as a multi messenger
but I think it would be worth it.

Well, indeed it does contradict our nature a little bit, although I
wouldn't say that this is the main issue. There are many people out
there, using SIP as their main communications protocol. When such people
download Jitsi they might find it confusing to see it appear as an XMPP
client.

Also (If you realy want to be some kind of OpenSoucre Skype)

I don't think that "some kind of OpenSource Skype" is exactly what we
want to be but I'll take this to mean "an easy to use communications tool".

I think
you should fokus on one protocol (XMPP would be the best choice, I
guess; while it is inferior to PSYC its widely adapted and there isn't
even PSYC support in Jitsi).
I don't mean dropping support for other
protocols by that but making XMPP more prominent. for example you
could add an Register for an XMPP account at jit.si to your website
and redesign your welcoming-screen:

Quick note: we already have the possibility to register new XMPP
accounts on servers that support this (with jit.si being the suggested
default).

>---------------------- |
> XMPP |
> username password |
> login register |
>---------------------- |

I agree that we can add a registration button on the Welcome screen. It
is in a dire need for a fresh coat of paint anyway.

other protocols:
>---------------------- |
> name pass name pass |
> name pass name pass |
> name pass name pass |
> login |
>---------------------- |

Note that this is pretty much what we have already, with the only
difference being that SIP and XMPP both share the first place.

If you want to get non-techies you need to make good default choices
for them (that does not mean taking choice away from techies).

I see what you mean and I do agree with this to some extent. There are a
few things that are important to note here though.

First, we are not a service provider. It's not that we think there's
something wrong with being one, it's just that we aren't. A service
provider requires someone to maintain a service with a decent up-time,
pay for infrastructure and provide end-user support.

Services like Skype and Google Voice have also accustomed users to being
able to make calls to the telephone network so some may say that this is
a MUST have feature for any service provider.

We can do neither of the above things. We don't have infrastructure, we
can't deal with billing users, working on preventing credit-card fraud,
assigning POTS numbers to accounts and all these things.

To take this a bit further: Jitsi as an open source project project can
not do these things. This is not something that can be easily run by a
community. This is a commercial activity and it requires a commercial
entity with the proper business model to take care of it. Such business
entities are free to use Jitsi as their default client. Many already do.

We do maintain the jit.si service but we are trying to make it clear
that this is mostly a proof of concept server. It is not a commercial
service, and is lacking a number of essential features such as user
support, failover, account administration or even the possibility to
reset one's password automatically.

Speaking with my BlueJimp hat on: at some point in the future we may try
running a commercial-grade service but we are currently unable to go
down that route for a simple reason: we do not have the resources.

Maybe you should also think about changing the name XMPP back to
Jabber because, honestly, it just sounds better and is way more
catchy.

Well, I agree it does but unfortunately so do Cisco. The Jabber name is
a registered trademark and clients using this name have been actively
discouraged from continuing to do so.

(I know that this might be problematic)

What do you think about those Ideas?

I completely understand where you are coming from. Having a default
service does indeed allow for a lot of simplification, however it also
requires someone to provide and maintain this service.

I do think however, that having a default service is not the only way to
make the application more user-friendly. Look at e-mail clients for
example: you don't expect Thunderbird to come with its own mail server,
and yet, despite its relative complexity when compared to Gmail or
Hotmail, it is still enjoying significant popularity.

Of course e-mail is a different universe but my point is that we could
simplify user experience in other ways. We could for example make it
easy for people to connect to and create accounts at a number of
existing third-party services. We already do this with services like
ippi.com and would be happy for us to add others to this list. We can
also make these more prominent on the user interface as you suggest
yourself.

A good first step here would be to agree on the kind of services we
would like to pre-list in Jitsi and the requirements that they need to
satisfy. For example:

1. Federation
2. Have IPv6 support
3. Support TLS connections.
4. Allow for the ZRTP handshake to complete
5. Provide free of charge accounts (with the possibility to create them
from Jitsi?).
6. Allow use of HD audio codecs such as Opus or SILK.
7. Allow use of ICE
8. Provide a reliable relaying mechanism such as JingleNodes, TurnServer
or hosted NAT traversal.

And maybe we could also encourage features such as PSTN calling.

Once we have a list of such providers, we could make them all easily
accessible from within Jitsi. Another option would be to randomly pick
one at first run and make it even more prominent to users (kind of like
the Windows browser selection).

Does this make sense?

Emil

···

On 19.03.13, 21:12, Yannik Völker wrote:

- --
Yannik Völker
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--
https://jitsi.org


#3

Hi Yannik,

As a user non-developer I completely agree with you about the need to
facilitating new users to create a xmpp account to be able to start
using Jitsi. However, I would find it to be a serious step back for
Jitsi to pick any specific service and help new users to subscribe to it.

What is definitely needed is for new users to be briefly and well
explained what a public xmpp service is, that there are tons of them,
and what should they consider when choosing one. With such a guidance
(if done well) they can be pointed to http://xmpp.net/ (or maybe someone
knows about a better list). And if this quick "pick your service and
register" wizard is ever integrated into welcome screen of Jitsi, that's
great.

If Jitsi helps to subscribe to one specific service (jit.si or any
other), then IMO it undermines one of its biggest values for which it is
being seen as a possible Skype replacement - opennes and support for
distributed networking. Of course there is a usability issue, but I
believe that in this case users can (and should) be helped to make right
choices, instead of being helped to become clients of a specific service.

best

karel

PS: general Xmpp federation would obviously facilitate service choice a
lot, but that is a service/server issue, not a client/app issue, right?

···

On 03/19/2013 05:12 PM, Yannik V�lker wrote:

I have been trying to get people to use XMPP in the real world and
there are some issues with Jitsi which hinder people from switching
easily:

It would be nice to have a "register" Button for XMPP in the
welcome-screen so first time users can just add an account and start
chatting instead of searching a jabber-server and figuring out how to
register and finally logging in. I would recommend changing the
User-interface of the welcoming screen a bit so the XMPP-section of
the welcoming screen contains a register and a login button.
This would in fact be a bit against Jitsis nature as a multi messenger
but I think it would be worth it.

Also (If you realy want to be some kind of OpenSoucre Skype) I think
you should fokus on one protocol (XMPP would be the best choice, I
guess; while it is inferior to PSYC its widely adapted and there isn't
even PSYC support in Jitsi). I don't mean dropping support for other
protocols by that but making XMPP more prominent. for example you
could add an Register for an XMPP account at jit.si to your website
and redesign your welcoming-screen:

>---------------------- |
> XMPP |
> username password |
> login register |
>---------------------- |

other protocols:
>---------------------- |
> name pass name pass |
> name pass name pass |
> name pass name pass |
> login |
>---------------------- |

If you want to get non-techies you need to make good default choices
for them (that does not mean taking choice away from techies).

Maybe you should also think about changing the name XMPP back to
Jabber because, honestly, it just sounds better and is way more
catchy. (I know that this might be problematic)

What do you think about those Ideas?


#4

I think this is a productive exploration of ideas. I definitely agree
with the sentiment that Jitsi must promote XMPP foremost as it is both
an open standard and puts Jitsi in the best light in terms of features
supported. I always persuade a friend to try Jitsi + XMPP and they are
usually impressed by video chat and encryption (people DO care about
encryption more and more in the global internet-corporate-police-state
world). SIP is also worthy of being favored. The exact method of how
XMPP and SIP should be privileged I am not sure, but a "Set up an XMPP
account to get the most of Jitsi and Instant Messaging" screen might
be one way. For SIP, perhaps point out right away that you can call
regular phone lines with SIP, and present a list of providers. Perhaps
a change from the current situation might be to move ippi and iptel to
a sub-section of SIP accounts? Like "Add SIP account" is the first
option, and then "Add ippi/iptel/OTHER SIP account" is a follow-up
dialog? not sure..

Introducing XMPP and SIP up-fornt will be useful introduction for
people migrating to Jitsi from a desktop IM chat program perspective.
I bet when MSN goes down in favor of Skype, a bunch of folks who
dislike the Skype client (which is butt-ugly IMO) will be looking for
alternatives so expect some increased interest in Jitsi.

What is PSYC protocol? I never heard of it and don't see it on
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_instant_messaging_protocols.

From what I find on google, it looks like a marginal project.

On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 4:40 AM, "Emil Ivov" wrote:Hey
Yannik,

Please find a few in-line comments first and a more generic one toward
the bottom.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

I have been trying to get people to use XMPP in the real world

That's appreciated! Thanks!

and
there are some issues with Jitsi which hinder people from switching
easily:

It would be nice to have a "register" Button for XMPP in the
welcome-screen so first time users can just add an account and start
chatting instead of searching a jabber-server and figuring out how

to

register and finally logging in.

Well the welcome screen also allows the option to connect to Facebook
an
Google Talk so this should reduce the difficulty above.

I would recommend changing the
User-interface of the welcoming screen a bit so the XMPP-section of
the welcoming screen contains a register and a login button.
This would in fact be a bit against Jitsis nature as a multi

messenger

but I think it would be worth it.

Well, indeed it does contradict our nature a little bit, although I
wouldn't say that this is the main issue. There are many people out
there, using SIP as their main communications protocol. When such
people
download Jitsi they might find it confusing to see it appear as an
XMPP
client.

Also (If you realy want to be some kind of OpenSoucre Skype)

I don't think that "some kind of OpenSource Skype" is exactly what we
want to be but I'll take this to mean "an easy to use communications
tool".

I think
you should fokus on one protocol (XMPP would be the best choice, I
guess; while it is inferior to PSYC its widely adapted and there

isn't

even PSYC support in Jitsi).
I don't mean dropping support for other
protocols by that but making XMPP more prominent. for example you
could add an Register for an XMPP account at jit.si to your website
and redesign your welcoming-screen:

Quick note: we already have the possibility to register new XMPP
accounts on servers that support this (with jit.si being the suggested
default).

>---------------------- |
> XMPP |
> username password |
> login register |
>---------------------- |

I agree that we can add a registration button on the Welcome screen.
It
is in a dire need for a fresh coat of paint anyway.

other protocols:
>---------------------- |
> name pass name pass |
> name pass name pass |
> name pass name pass |
> login |
>---------------------- |

Note that this is pretty much what we have already, with the only
difference being that SIP and XMPP both share the first place.

If you want to get non-techies you need to make good default choices
for them (that does not mean taking choice away from techies).

I see what you mean and I do agree with this to some extent. There are
a
few things that are important to note here though.

First, we are not a service provider. It's not that we think there's
something wrong with being one, it's just that we aren't. A service
provider requires someone to maintain a service with a decent up-time,
pay for infrastructure and provide end-user support.

Services like Skype and Google Voice have also accustomed users to
being
able to make calls to the telephone network so some may say that this
is
a MUST have feature for any service provider.

We can do neither of the above things. We don't have infrastructure,
we
can't deal with billing users, working on preventing credit-card
fraud,
assigning POTS numbers to accounts and all these things.

To take this a bit further: Jitsi as an open source project project
can
not do these things. This is not something that can be easily run by a
community. This is a commercial activity and it requires a commercial
entity with the proper business model to take care of it. Such
business
entities are free to use Jitsi as their default client. Many already
do.

We do maintain the jit.si service but we are trying to make it clear
that this is mostly a proof of concept server. It is not a commercial
service, and is lacking a number of essential features such as user
support, failover, account administration or even the possibility to
reset one's password automatically.

Speaking with my BlueJimp hat on: at some point in the future we may
try
running a commercial-grade service but we are currently unable to go
down that route for a simple reason: we do not have the resources.

Maybe you should also think about changing the name XMPP back to
Jabber because, honestly, it just sounds better and is way more
catchy.

Well, I agree it does but unfortunately so do Cisco. The Jabber name
is
a registered trademark and clients using this name have been actively
discouraged from continuing to do so.

(I know that this might be problematic)

What do you think about those Ideas?

I completely understand where you are coming from. Having a default
service does indeed allow for a lot of simplification, however it also
requires someone to provide and maintain this service.

I do think however, that having a default service is not the only way
to
make the application more user-friendly. Look at e-mail clients for
example: you don't expect Thunderbird to come with its own mail
server,
and yet, despite its relative complexity when compared to Gmail or
Hotmail, it is still enjoying significant popularity.

Of course e-mail is a different universe but my point is that we could
simplify user experience in other ways. We could for example make it
easy for people to connect to and create accounts at a number of
existing third-party services. We already do this with services like
ippi.com and would be happy for us to add others to this list. We can
also make these more prominent on the user interface as you suggest
yourself.

A good first step here would be to agree on the kind of services we
would like to pre-list in Jitsi and the requirements that they need to
satisfy. For example:

1. Federation
2. Have IPv6 support
3. Support TLS connections.
4. Allow for the ZRTP handshake to complete
5. Provide free of charge accounts (with the possibility to create
them
from Jitsi?).
6. Allow use of HD audio codecs such as Opus or SILK.
7. Allow use of ICE
8. Provide a reliable relaying mechanism such as JingleNodes,
TurnServer
or hosted NAT traversal.

And maybe we could also encourage features such as PSTN calling.

Once we have a list of such providers, we could make them all easily
accessible from within Jitsi. Another option would be to randomly pick
one at first run and make it even more prominent to users (kind of
like
the Windows browser selection).

Does this make sense?

Emil

···

On 19.03.13, 21:12, Yannik Völker wrote:

- --
Yannik Völker
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--
https://jitsi.org


#5

Hello again.

It seems that there is a bit of a misunderstanding: I do not want
jit.si to serve all users (I don�t even think it can do that), a list
prefilteret list of xmpp-servers to choose from was what I had in
mind, too, that would definitely be great. The goal is to give the
user an easier start into the xmpp world.

Well the welcome screen also allows the option to connect to
Facebook an Google Talk so this should reduce the difficulty
above.

Both those services have problems with federation so they do not fit
the need.

Well, indeed it does contradict our nature a little bit, although
I wouldn't say that this is the main issue. There are many people
out there, using SIP as their main communications protocol. When
such people download Jitsi they might find it confusing to see it
appear as an XMPP client.

Correct me if I am wrong but in my experience most SIP users have more
technical knowledge or are network administrators of some kind so I do
not think its too hard for them too choose the SIP option which is a
bit less prominent then the XMPP option

I don't think that "some kind of OpenSource Skype" is exactly
what we want to be but I'll take this to mean "an easy to use
communications tool".

Yeah, easy to use and free communications tool, that�s it (but OSS
Skype is a lot shorter :))

Quick note: we already have the possibility to register new XMPP
accounts on servers that support this (with jit.si being the
suggested default).

I know, but is buried behind ~5 klicks so the average user wont just
start using that even if he knew that he needs to.

I agree that we can add a registration button on the Welcome
screen. It is in a dire need for a fresh coat of paint anyway.

great

I do not think that calling landlines is that important to 90% of the
users as most users do not use that feature anyways (you would need to
pay for that).

As stated previously: There is no need for jit.si to do all the work
(or any at all).

Well, I agree it does but unfortunately so do Cisco. The Jabber
name is a registered trademark and clients using this name have
been actively discouraged from continuing to do so.

Well, that is sad but I don�t think anything could be done about it�

I do think however, that having a default service is not the only
way to make the application more user-friendly. Look at e-mail
clients for example: you don't expect Thunderbird to come with
its own mail server, and yet, despite its relative complexity
when compared to Gmail or Hotmail, it is still enjoying
significant popularity.

That is because everbody has 2-3 email-accounts allready so there is
no need to provide them with new ones.

A good first step here would be to agree on the kind of services
we would like to pre-list in Jitsi and the requirements that they
need to satisfy. For example:

1. Federation 2. Have IPv6 support 3. Support TLS connections. 4.
Allow for the ZRTP handshake to complete 5. Provide free of
charge accounts (with the possibility to create them from
Jitsi?). 6. Allow use of HD audio codecs such as Opus or SILK. 7.
Allow use of ICE 8. Provide a reliable relaying mechanism such as
JingleNodes, TurnServer or hosted NAT traversal.

Exactly what I hope for, that would be a great step in the right
direction. (Maybe you would need to drop some criteria (2)) It should
be a major requirement to allow registrations from xmpp-clients.

Once we have a list of such providers, we could make them all
easily accessible from within Jitsi. Another option would be to
randomly pick one at first run and make it even more prominent to
users (kind of like the Windows browser selection).

Does this make sense?

Absolutely, I hope to see this in Jitsi soon.

- --
Yannik V�lker

PS: on another note: maybe you could think about changing the name
Jitsi, it well� created some irritation at first :smiley:

···

On 20.03.2013 03:40, Emil Ivov wrote:


#6

Hi Karel.

What is definitely needed is for new users to be briefly and well
explained what a public xmpp service is, that there are tons of
them, and what should they consider when choosing one. With such a
guidance (if done well) they can be pointed to http://xmpp.net/ (or
maybe someone knows about a better list). And if this quick "pick
your service and register" wizard is ever integrated into welcome
screen of Jitsi, that's great.

That *sounds* all right but trust me: the users do not want a
complicated explanation which is longer then "xmpp is like email for
chat" they want an easy to use wizard. They do not want to understand
the technical details.

hugh
- --
Yannik V�lker

···

On 20.03.2013 15:14, Karel Novotny wrote:


#7

Hi Karel.

> What is definitely needed is for new users to be briefly and well
> explained what a public xmpp service is, that there are tons of
> them, and what should they consider when choosing one. With such a
> guidance (if done well) they can be pointed to http://xmpp.net/ (or
> maybe someone knows about a better list). And if this quick "pick
> your service and register" wizard is ever integrated into welcome
> screen of Jitsi, that's great.
That *sounds* all right but trust me: the users do not want a
complicated explanation which is longer then "xmpp is like email for
chat" they want an easy to use wizard. They do not want to understand
the technical details.

Exactly, and I wouldn't provide them with any. What they need is *brief*
guidelines that explain how they chose a service based on what they need:

- do you need video conferencing capabilities? chose a service that
provides videobridge (or whatever it is called)
- are you concerned with security of your calls? chose a service that
allows zrtp encryption (or is that only client dependent?)
- are your friends/colleagues already using a specific service? chose
the same one.
- etc.
+ here is a list of open xmpp services that you can use

Nothing technical. Such brief guidelines would be super useful for
first-time users, but if you think it is too difficult or irrelevant,
then I would just leave as is. Helping to get an account of one specific
service is not only 'ideologically' problematic for a truly os project
(imo), but leaving ideology aside, it might also not work for what they
need.

karel

···

On 03/20/2013 01:04 PM, Yannik V�lker wrote:

On 20.03.2013 15:14, Karel Novotny wrote:

hugh


#8

- From what I find on google, it looks like a marginal project.
As I said: its not widespread but the protocol itself is a lot more
efficient then xmpp, also it provides backward compatibility for irc
and xmpp (just look at their wiki)

Please don't put a full quote under your mail.

- --
Yannik Völker

.

···

On 20.03.2013 11:05, dalgamotor@hush.com wrote:

What is PSYC protocol? I never heard of it and don't see it on
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_instant_messaging_protocols.