Thursday, December 01, 2005


I appreciate the whole VOIP technology very much and I think this is a real revolution concerning the worldwide communication.

The first time I used e.g. Skype I was really amazed about the brilliant quality and I couldn't believe that this was ever possible. Some times later I read in the news that it was an Austrian company which produced this powerful Skype competitor. So of course I was quite curios about the tool and finally tried it out at last. Here are my impressions...
  1. First Impression ....
  2. Look and Feel .........
  3. Usability .................
  4. Benefit ....................

  1. First Impression

  2. Well, my first impression was not as euphorically as I expected ;) The look is a little bit too gray for my opinion. The content area in the middle seems to be rather busy, the text is quite small and the icons do not really impress me. Meanwhile I realize a kind of standard for icons, which is more 3D, including shadows.
    The viloet 'lights' at the bottom confuse me, because I expected that this was the voice control. But it is the "Missed calls indicator" ?!

    Next thing are the tab rows, to be honest I never liked tabs in more than one row. I know "Microsoft is doing that, too". But I know less things which are as confusing as the behavior of changing tab rows. (After clicking on a tab in an upper row, it "jumps" down to the the first row, which is absolutely unnatural for me and confuses me ever and ever again). Jajah uses three tab rows, which do unfortunately not always stay consistently - sometimes they change from 2-2-2 to 3-1-2 and so on. (I think it must be a bug.)

    The dropdown on top informs me about all the call opportunities jajah offers, moving the mouse over the text. Unfortunately it removes again after a short time (as alt text always does). So I thought it could be nicer, if the features and infos are placed permanently anywhere in the content area.

  3. Look and Feel

  4. The whole application is built really simple and "thin". No dialogs, no confirmations, no things which disturb the flow. The way jajah solved this is really good. The whole graphical design instead does not fit my 'flavor'.

    1. Colors
      As I said, the gray default style does not impress me too much, the two other styles I found, are nice but I think there plenty of space for some more ;)

    2. Fonts
      I use a notebook with 1600x1200, so for me the font is too small

    3. Icons
      As mentioned above, I think using more kind of modern icons would be nice.

    4. General
      The tabs need a lot of space and make the whole UI a little bit too "busy" for my opinion.

  5. Usability

    1. M e n u r i g h t o n t o p

      • Set
        Seem to be a little bit too small and are quite difficult to match.
        Set is a toggle button, which is the only one (out of the three on top) which gets a 'pressed' status. For my opinion the status could be more graphically worked out.

      • Shop
        A website is being opened, but the button becomes not pressed. (Why?)

      • Help
        The system own help tool is being opened, the button becomes not pressed.

    2. T a b s

    3. Besides the above mentioned "bug" concerning the tab order, I am a little bit irritated about the color coding of the active tab. Normally the active tab has the same color as the content underneath.

      • Overview
        The Info is cut off at the bottom. As also mentioned, I'd find it usesful to get the information of the different phone opportunities (by mouseover on the input field on top) here, too.
        'My account' and 'Load my Account' is very useful for my oppinion and on the right place here.

      • Quickstart
        It is interesting how the jajah team solved the opportunity to switch off this tab. Anyway the "Make a test call" opportunity works ok.

      • Buddy List
        The content area is small at all and the scrollbars waste valueable space, too. So there is not too much space left for the buddy-list itself.
        What I also miss is the possibility to Remove and to Edit buddies. After checking out the forum I found and entry describing these features. One has to double-click on a buddy and the edit mode is being opened. I would not have found out this by myself.
        It is possible to create two buddies with the same name (which is a bug for my opinion). I am not sure if it is possible to add no email adress.

        When I select the name of a buddy only the "Send Message" button is active (Why not the "Call" button, too?)

        The Buddy profile looks ok, but again the graphical solution of the buttons at the bottom ... I think they can be improved, too ;) But the whole solution without dialogs is done really great. Except clicking on the link "Search for users..." takes me to the "Search" tab, which is not ideal, because I cannot get back to the profile. The link itself has the same background color as the buttons, I think this is not really necessary.

      • Call history
        Seems to be a very useful feature and looks ok.

      • Messages
        Hmm.. I open the tab and only the "Add Buddy.." button is active. So I click on it, which does not really make sense. I realize after some time that I have to type in a user in the inputfield/dropdown on top. I would it find useful to provide the buddylist in the dropdown on top.
        The buttons at the bottom (Open, Delete, Reply) show the wrong alt text (Open - Save this buddy...)
        What I love is the Message field iteself: the translation tool (including the "Undo" function), the costs, the animation and so on. But I also can send a message to a landline number, which cannot work and costs € 0,0540. (Maybe it is possible to send messages to landline numbers anywhere, but I do not know)

      • Search
        The search works quite good for my opinion, the progress bar could be more prominent. If I double click on a found user, then a call starts. I expected that the user would be added to my buddy list. Anyway this is one of the less points where a confirmation dialog would be helpful.
        The "Add buddy" is also active if no user is selected. This gets me to an empty Add Buddy window.

    4. I c o n s

    5. The good point is that I know what the icons mean, the not so good point is that they are graphically not so well designed.

    6. B o t t o m

      • Violet Lights
        Really no idea what this means :(

      • Status
        I did not expect that it is possible to change the status here. I thought this is just an information, but one can change the online status here.

  6. Benefit

  7. The greatest advantage is the benefit of this small application which allows me to communicate around the world with very less financial effort experiencing a better quality than telephone.