Last evening, I exchanged a few tweets with the folks at Janetter (@Janetter_jp), the Twitter client I just installed on my MacBook. Overall, I really like Janetter. It is a big improvement over Tweetdeck, which got bought a few months ago by Twitter, and now appears to have been put in stasis. The folks at Jane, Inc. (based in Osaka, Japan?) have really done a good job building a tool that reflects the way people really use Twitter. But of course, no work of software is ever “done” and as happy as I am with this lovely new program, there are a couple of things I want to suggest that might make it even better.
Edit Tweets after they’ve been posted
For some reason, people often don’t see errors in text they’re editing until the text is posted publicly. I think this has to do with the fact that publishing often changes the line breaks, font, background, foreground text color, formatting or whatever so that the error suddenly becomes apparent.
This happens to me once in a while when using Twitter. In Janetter, the edit box for composing a tweet stretches the text out in one long line. But after being posted and appearing in a stream column, it’s line-broken into 4 or sometimes more lines depending on column widths. Once posted of course, there’s no way to correct the error except by deleting the tweet and re-entering it.
Now, what would be really great is to be able to edit a tweet after you’ve posted it, like you can edit a post on Google+. Twitter doesn’t support this, but Janetter could make it appear that it was simply by putting an “edit” button or link on the posted tweet and letting you edit the tweet (ideally, in place in the column) and then reposting the tweet and deleting the old one, all in one step. The new tweet would appear at the top of the column with its correct, new post time and the old one would disappear, reflecting what was actually done behind the scenes. This doesn’t do anything you can’t do yourself manually, it just makes it more convenient by combining several steps into one and corresponds better to the user’s mental model of “where” the tweet is, so to speak. The picture below attempts to illustrate how I think it could work. Click on it to get the full-size version.
I wouldn’t expect Janetter to try to maintain the conversation links to the old tweet, or anything else that gets deleted along with the old tweet. That would make the problem much more complicated and probably impossible, given the twitter API. The user just gets what they get when they manually delete and repost now.
The people I know on Twitter would love this little convenience feature. How about you?
Enable the ESC key to cancel photos and profile dialogs
This is a consistency and convenience issue. I instinctually hit the ESC key to cancel dialogs and I think it’s always good to give the user the choice of using the keyboard over the mouse when possible. Please note I would add this key response to the current method of clicking outside the dialog and not replace it! It doesn’t have to be an either/or choice. Both can work, right?
Mouse Rollover pauses column update
One of the things that drives me crazy about all auto-updating Twitter clients is that they inevitably update just as I’m about to do something with a tweet. The tweet I’m interested in gets scrolled away, and I end up clicking on the wrong tweet!
Now, I know that clicking on a tweet in a column in Janetter will stop updating in that column, but that’s not exactly what I want. I only want updating to pause while the cursor is over that column and to restart automatically when the cursor moves off, OR when the cursor hasn’t moved for say, a minute. Here’s a simple illustration of how it might work. Again, click on the picture to make it full size.
Janetter has built a really good product. I hope they’ll consider these improvements. I happily offer myself as a development tester.