Context menus (opened with a “right click”) are a common and expected part of the user interface. It can be very frustrating when they are missing, so in Instantbird 0.2 we tried to add one wherever users are likely to expect one.
In the buddy list, the context menu of contacts can be used to start a conversation (although pressing enter or double clicking is usually faster), show the conversation history, rename a contact, move the contact to a different group or remove it from the list:
The context menu is usable anywhere in the buddy list to toggle the display of offline buddies:
A context menu was added in the account manager too. There, it proposes all the possible actions for an account. Since Instantbird 0.2, it’s possible to reorder the accounts in the list (this is also possible with drag & drop using the mouse or with the keyboard using shift + the up or down arrow).
A context menu is available on conversation tabs, with actions related to that tab (opening it in a new window, closing it, …) and to the conversation, like showing the history of previous conversations with the same contact.
Last but not least, there’s a context menu in conversation content. This is the most “contextual” context menu we have added. The proposed actions will vary depending on whether there is a selection or if the context click was done over a link.
When selecting some text from a conversation, a common action is to copy it to the clipboard and then paste it in a browser to use it as the query in search engine. We have included search engine items directly in the context menus to reduce the number of clicks needed for this common case.
In Instantbird 0.2 a lot of visual bloat has been removed from all windows. Some margins have been reduced, borders that weren’t useful for clarity have been removed, and alignments have been improved. All of this contributes to a better use of the available space on the screen, and to a better perceived impression of simplicity in the user interface.
To illustrate this, let’s compare the conversation window before and after:
The buddy list has also been improved:
The status can now be changed directly from the top of the buddy list instead of having to interact with a poor popup dialog. (Note that for the users who hate clicking, the status can also be changed quickly using commands from conversation windows:
The account manager has also been simplified a lot, and is now usable in a much smaller window: