The microphone and webcam icons displayed in the buddy list need improvement

Bug #502999 reported by David Siegel
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
Won't Fix
empathy (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Problems with current icons:

(1) The styles are mismatched; microphone icon is very realistic, webcam is more Tango.
(2) They are too detailed for such small icons; the webcam icon is especially hard to understand.
(3) They are too bold, drawing attention away from the buddy and status icons.
(4) Both icons depict real world objects, neither of which resemble the microphone or webcam that the user is actually using. More abstract icons representing "audio capability" and "video capability" would be more appropriate.

To address these problems, new icons should:

(1) Use the same style.
(2) Use very simple shapes and limited colors to remain simple to recognize at small sizes.
(3) Be discernible but understated enough to take a "back seat" to the buddy and status icons.
(4) Depict abstract concepts, not concrete objects.

I think monochrome volume (speaker) and video (video camera or almond-shaped eye) icons would work well.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: none → lucid-round-4
status: New → Confirmed
Kenneth Wimer (kwwii)
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
assignee: nobody → Kenneth Wimer (kwwii)
Vish (vish)
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
assignee: Kenneth Wimer (kwwii) → Vish (vish...)
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Wishlist → Low
Revision history for this message
Guillaume Desmottes (cassidy) wrote :

We are looking upstream for a better icon for the contact list:
Any suggestion is more than welcome. :)

Revision history for this message
Vish (vish) wrote :

@ David Siegel :
Checking the upstream bug report , it seems that they want to make the icons more prominent and to seem as "buttons" and clickable.
Making them monochrome doesnt make it clearer. And doesnt seem like something upstream wants.

Are we sure we want the icon monochrome?

Changed in empathy:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Revision history for this message
David Siegel (djsiegel-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

Mockup of chat/cal//video buttons that display only for selected contact.

Vish (vish)
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
assignee: Vish (vish...) → nobody
Vish (vish)
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: lucid-round-4 → maverick-round-3-chat
Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Vish (vish) wrote :

We are really not sure how to fix this bug yet.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: maverick-round-3-social-networking → none
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Changed in empathy:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Changed in empathy:
status: Confirmed → Expired
Revision history for this message
Paul White (paulw2u) wrote :

Upstream issue was moved to:
without any activity for over 12 years

empathy is no longer included in recent Ubuntu releases
so it is unlikely that this issue will ever receive any
attention. I'm therefore removing the Papercuts task.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
importance: Low → Wishlist
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
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