Sunday, January 20, 2008

Three Clever Xobni Features (3/3): Prefilling Invites

This is installment 3 of 3 blog entries about features in Xobni where I discuss well-implemented, clever ideas. None of these are Xobni-specific – you should be able to port these ideas to any web or desktop app.

Previously:
  1. Are You Happy? (1/3)
  2. As-You-Yype Search (2/3)

On January 9th, we started allowing our existing users to invite their friends to Xobni. If they have invites to send, this is what appears in the sidebar:



Clicking on the box brings up this window:



The dialog shows a list of your top contacts who use Outlook, which we identify by looking at headers of emails you received from them. These people are exactly the audience for Xobni!

This feature is an instance of smart defaults, not just sensible defaults. We take the vast amount of data in your email repository and do something smart with it. (The beauty is that the core piece of this functionality was written in one day with our powerful email data framework.) That's exactly what Xobni is about.

7 comments:

christian said...

just wondered how one could solve the following problem: you don't want to invite a friend who is already using xobni (it wouldn't harm, however)
without adding something to messages, you won't see who is using xobni as well, right? but there might be a way to connect within xobni as in other social networks by sending a one-time e-mail message or something, then, having your own contact settings, you might inform your colleagues automatically with one click: `tell my contacts' and all your xobni friends get that special e-mail which is recognized automatically by your component
if you don't understand what I mean, just ask, Gabor! all the best with xobni! (I wish they added these features to gmail... you should have staid there and done the same things - I guess that's what you wanted to do, right?)

Gabor said...

Christian, those are definitely things we've thought about. However, we don't currently have a way to know whether your contacts are using Xobni or not, as we want to be respectful of everyone's privacy.

In the future, an opt-in method for proactive telling everyone you're using Xobni (whether via email or not) is totally possible.

Thanks for the well-wishes!

splintor said...

One thing that irritated me in the invitation window is that I wanted to add a friend not in my contact list (or deep down in the list), and Xobni kept checking two contacts in the list - when I unchecked them, two other contacts where checked.


However, I didn't realize you can tell if a contact of mine is using Outlook or not. A good improvement would be that if I manually put some e-mail address, which I can't find in the list, an you know this person doesn't use Outlook for his e-mail, it might be a good idea to warn me about it.

Finally, regarding Christian's suggestion - I don't know exactly how your invitation e-mails look like, but you might add an option there for the invitee to return the invitation to the sender, in case he already has Xobni, so I can send the invitation to someone else...

splintor said...

I forgot to mention how I really like Xobni, despite all the feedback I have....

Gabor said...

Splintor: "A good improvement would be that if I manually put some e-mail address, which I can't find in the list, an you know this person doesn't use Outlook for his e-mail, it might be a good idea to warn me about it."

This is already in there: Look at the textbox in the middle! :-)

Gabor

splintor said...

Gabor: "This is already in there: Look at the textbox in the middle!"

What's already in there? The option to add a new contact? I saw that. What I'm saying is that if Xobni knows this e-mail address and thinks this person behind it doesn't use Outlook, it should allow me to add the e-mail to the list, but should also warn me that as far as Xobni knows, this user doesn't use Outlook

Gabor said...

Oh, got it, good idea!