Keep Tabs on Your Friends With PeopleBrowsr - Design
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As stated previously, PeopleBrowsr is still in its early stages and much of its design is still a little shaky. Those familiar with TweetDeck , which is an AIR application, will understand and be able to navigate PeopleBrowsr with little trouble. As for the rest of us -- well, we’re not so lucky.
The service’s design is very similar to TweetDeck in the way that it allows you to open up multiple Twitter streams at once. For example, you can see the Twitter streams from your friends, the stream of people replying to you and the stream from a continuously running search. PeopleBrowsr isn't limited to Twitter, though. You can also set up streams from FriendFeed, YouTube, Flickr, Seesmic, LinkedIn and other services, previously mentioned. You can have as many running as you like.
PeopleBrowsr also allows you to merge feeds. For example, you can view all of the activity on your YouTube and Flickr accounts in a single feed. The service also allows you to view PeopleBrowsr-specific profiles of the people in your streams. If you click on a name you can see everything the person wrote, as well as any related links. You can also tag people to form groups.
PeopleBrowsr displays your three streams side-by-side, which is quite irritating as it forces you to scroll horizontally to see the streams, no matter how wide your monitor is. The service definitely lacks refinement, and according to its creator Jodee Rich, it adequately represents his design philosophy and aesthetic, meaning much of the layout won’t change much as the service develops.
Right off the bat it should be pointed out that the PeopleBrowsr concept is excellent in theory, but much like its current design in alpha phase, its features are a bit hard to use and slow -- especially if you’re not familiar with TweetDeck, as many users are bound not to be. Many of the features are obscured under too many non-standard interface elements, such as the horizontally scrolling navigation menus.
That being said, it is fun to scroll back and forth along the main dashboard after you’ve registered, watching all of your streams constantly update with new information concerning your family and friends. If you prefer, the service also comes equipped with the ability to look at your friends service-by-service in a picture grid , drilling down to individual profiles and update streams as you please.
The “feedosphere” option is also something worth looking into. This feature allows you to see all of the updates currently being streamed through each service’s ether. The updates happen so quickly that it appears as a constant stream of flickering lights, so watch your eyes because it can get pretty intense.
One of the most highly anticipated features concerning PeopleBrowsr is the ability to build groups. This grouping concept will once again seem very familiar to TweetDeck users because of a similar feature that allows users to figure out which of the streams they follow “belong together,” e.g. friends, feeds, news, fictional characters, etc., etc. and redisplays their Tweets in a column of their own. PeopleBrowsr has broadened this concept by expanding the feature beyond just Twitter and instead, allowing users to group members of different services together.
Last but not least, there is another feature that isn’t mind blowing or extraordinary, but will no doubt come in handy on countless occasions. The mass-message feature allows users to, well, mass-message hand-picked members of a group.
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