Give user a choice of networks (with preconfigured options) for IRC

NEW
Unassigned

Status

Instantbird
Account wizard
4 years ago
4 years ago

People

(Reporter: aleth, Unassigned)

Tracking

Details

(Reporter)

Description

4 years ago
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-06 19:57:00 UTC ***

The IRC account wizard seems to be confusing to users who are not experienced with IRC. 

A quick fix improvement would be to 
- replace the default server (freenode) by a hint ("for example: chat.freenode.org") to make it clearer that the user may have to enter something else (as you can't just use any server to connect to a given channel)
- remove the "and server" hint from the username box (since there is already a separate textbox for the server, so this is confusing)
- possibly a tooltip explanation (or better hint) for the username/server

More elaborate and better:
09:42:58 PM - clokep: aleth: I think IRC and XMPP need another page which let you choose a network or configure your own.
09:47:04 PM - Mic: Click on a irc://irc.mozilla.org/#instantbird link -> (No account configured for this server, please choose a user name to create one ->) #instantbird tab opens.
09:47:08 PM - Mic: That would be nice..
09:47:26 PM - clokep: Mic: And if you have multiple accounts it asks to choose one?
(see also bug 953953 (bio 516))

Appending some IRC snippets which made me file this:
09:05:13 PM - aleth: Nimbus: By the way, you know you can connect to IRC with Instantbird too? You don't need mibbit ;)
09:06:31 PM - Nimbus: yep but I don't know what to write in the "user" field :P
09:06:54 PM - aleth: Just the nickname you want to use :)
09:07:12 PM - clokep: The same thing you write for Mibbit? :P
09:10:49 PM - Nimbus: I tried just now but it didn't worked, said there's any account with the name I entered. Actually I've never registered an IRC account (and again: I don't know how I made this thing work :P)
09:11:23 PM - aleth: Did you go to Tools -> Accounts and click on "New Account"?
09:11:29 PM - Nimbus: yep
09:11:33 PM - aleth: Then pick IRC
09:11:37 PM - Nimbus: done
09:11:44 PM - aleth: For your username, put Nimbus
09:11:55 PM - aleth: For server, put irc.mozilla.org
09:13:00 PM - aleth: (then click Next)
09:14:25 PM - Nimbus: it's connected but it says that my username isn't registered 
09:14:33 PM - aleth: That's fine.
09:14:35 PM - clokep: "it"?
09:14:57 PM - Nimbus: @Clokep: the account
09:15:11 PM - clokep: What says that? NickServ when you connect?
09:15:17 PM - Nimbus: hold on a moment, maybe I got it
09:15:19 PM - aleth: (File menu)
09:15:26 PM - clokep: That doesn't matter, you don't need to be registered to use IRC.
09:15:30 PM - aleth: and join #instantbird ... lets see if that works
...
09:21:51 PM - Lalae: (anyway, the only thing that I found confusing was entering the server...I just entered irc.freenode.net as I didn't know I had to change it)
09:29:17 PM - aleth: Did you find it confusing that the account wizard asked you for a password?
09:32:45 PM - Lalae: not so much. as I said, the most confusing thing was the server one, well at least for me. Maybe an IRC frequent user won't find it confusing ;)
09:33:29 PM - aleth: Did you get a hint "and server" in the username box? Was that the confusing thing?
09:33:41 PM - aleth: (Sorry to bug you, just trying to see if we could improve things)
09:35:16 PM - Lalae: no problem. it was pre-compiled with the freenode server
09:35:36 PM - aleth: Ah, so it would have been easier if the server field was blank?
09:35:41 PM - aleth: That would be an easy fix ;)
09:35:55 PM - Lalae: for my experience yes
09:36:03 PM - aleth: OK, thanks :)
09:36:43 PM - Lalae: not knowing there were multiple servers I just entered that one supposing I'd have found you there (once joined the channel of course)
09:38:31 PM - aleth: Yes, based on this I wonder whether having a default isn't more confusing than helpful. Maybe we could display a hint instead (light grey "for example: chat.freenode.org" or something like that)
09:38:56 PM - Lalae: yes that could be helpful
...
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-08 12:10:55 UTC ***

(In reply to comment #0)
> A quick fix improvement would be to 
> - replace the default server (freenode) by a hint ("for example:
> chat.freenode.org") to make it clearer that the user may have to enter
> something else (as you can't just use any server to connect to a given channel)
I think it's useful to have a default value here though, what use case are you trying to optimize? I think the one you're trying to optimize is getting people into #instantbird. If that is the case...I wonder if we should add a "Mozilla IRC (Moznet)" as a separate network (or would choosing from a list of IRC networks before having to just type in a server be helpful in some way?).

> - remove the "and server" hint from the username box (since there is already a
> separate textbox for the server, so this is confusing)
Yes, I agree that this is very confusing. Was this always here?

> - possibly a tooltip explanation (or better hint) for the username/server
Yes, including that a nick does not necessarily have to be preregistered. :)
(Reporter)

Comment 2

4 years ago
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-08 12:33:06 UTC ***

(In reply to comment #1)
> (In reply to comment #0)
> > A quick fix improvement would be to 
> > - replace the default server (freenode) by a hint ("for example:
> > chat.freenode.org") to make it clearer that the user may have to enter
> > something else (as you can't just use any server to connect to a given channel)
> I think it's useful to have a default value here though, what use case are you
> trying to optimize? I think the one you're trying to optimize is getting people
> into #instantbird. If that is the case...I wonder if we should add a "Mozilla
> IRC (Moznet)" as a separate network (or would choosing from a list of IRC
> networks before having to just type in a server be helpful in some way?).

The use case I was trying to optimize was the newbie who (wanting to join a channel somewhere - not necessarily #instantbird) thinks "oh, I'll just use the default server, surely it wouldn't be put there if it mattered which one I chose". 

Choosing from a list of popular networks (a dropdown menu?) would be good though. But the default being a hint would make it clearer it's an entry that must be specified by the user.

> > - remove the "and server" hint from the username box (since there is already a
> > separate textbox for the server, so this is confusing)
> Yes, I agree that this is very confusing. Was this always here?

No idea.

> > - possibly a tooltip explanation (or better hint) for the username/server
> Yes, including that a nick does not necessarily have to be preregistered. :)

Oh yes :)
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-08 12:44:52 UTC ***

(In reply to comment #2)
> The use case I was trying to optimize was the newbie who (wanting to join a
> channel somewhere - not necessarily #instantbird) thinks "oh, I'll just use the
> default server, surely it wouldn't be put there if it mattered which one I
> chose".
I guess for someone with no knowledge of IRC (or XMPP) that could make sense. But usually when I see an IRC channel it says what network it's on right next to it.

I'd also argue that someone shouldn't think that since why would it let you change it, if it doesn't matter?

> Choosing from a list of popular networks (a dropdown menu?) would be good
> though. But the default being a hint would make it clearer it's an entry that
> must be specified by the user.
I think this is the best option, it gives a list of choices (with predefined connection information). So the user isn't left with just a blank option and scratch their head, but they'll be more inclined to look through it perhaps and realize that the server matters.

It's also possible we just need a better description at the top.
(Reporter)

Comment 4

4 years ago
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-08 12:51:31 UTC ***

(In reply to comment #3)
> (In reply to comment #2)
> > The use case I was trying to optimize was the newbie who (wanting to join a
> > channel somewhere - not necessarily #instantbird) thinks "oh, I'll just use the
> > default server, surely it wouldn't be put there if it mattered which one I
> > chose".
> I guess for someone with no knowledge of IRC (or XMPP) that could make sense.
> But usually when I see an IRC channel it says what network it's on right next
> to it.
> 
> I'd also argue that someone shouldn't think that since why would it let you
> change it, if it doesn't matter?

Well, I would have thought that too, but then we got the feedback from Lalae (copied and pasted above) ;) 

> > Choosing from a list of popular networks (a dropdown menu?) would be good
> > though. But the default being a hint would make it clearer it's an entry that
> > must be specified by the user.
> I think this is the best option, it gives a list of choices (with predefined
> connection information). So the user isn't left with just a blank option and
> scratch their head, but they'll be more inclined to look through it perhaps and
> realize that the server matters.

It seems the most convenient and also typo-preventing option.
(Reporter)

Comment 5

4 years ago
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-08 13:01:38 UTC ***

Useful server list from chatzilla: https://mxr.mozilla.org/comm-central/source/mozilla/extensions/irc/xul/content/networks.js#9
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-09 12:03:48 UTC ***

Flo and I discussed this a bit on IRC:
 - It could be like the Add Buddy wizard which has preset information but lets you type whatever you want in as well.
 - If you choose a preset network, it should pre-fill everything in (port, SSL, whether to use NickServ, etc.), these could then be tweaked by the user.

Something not discussed, but I'd like to track that this is an xyz network account, so if we update the shipped information and they're using the defaults we can switch settings (i.e. if Foobar IRC Network supports SSL all of a sudden and a user had that network added with the default settings...we could "upgrade" them to SSL). Of course this has the downside of potentially breaking people's configurations that are working. :(
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-09 12:16:11 UTC ***

(In reply to comment #1)

> > - remove the "and server" hint from the username box (since there is already a
> > separate textbox for the server, so this is confusing)
> Yes, I agree that this is very confusing. Was this always here?

No, we added it (https://hg.instantbird.org/instantbird/rev/e142bb7beb1a) during IM-in-Tb's ui-review, and I think it was a mistake.
(Reporter)

Comment 8

4 years ago
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-05-15 10:35:33 UTC ***

See also bug 954724 (bio 1292) for a possible side benefit of having a dropdown of servers.
Summary: IRC Account wizard somewhat confusing for users new to IRC → Give user a choice of networks (with preconfigured options) for IRC
(Reporter)

Comment 9

4 years ago
*** Original post on bio 1426 at 2012-08-23 21:55:37 UTC ***

We could also have server-dependent favicons for IRC tabs, similar to http://www.smuxi.org/issues/show/702
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