As of late I’ve been working on bringing up my social network status. This of course requires a ton of tweeting and Facebook posting and playing Empire Avenue. During all this I’ve been working on my social relationships. After all thats the key to social networking right? The relationships? I hope. So one thing I want to do is follow all the tweets from individual people. This has led me to what I feel is a giant over looked UI problem in most, if not all, twitter applications. I’m going to try to break this idea down for you.
Every twitter client I’ve found presents it’s self as a screen full of vertical columns displaying a list of tweets for a given variable. Usually your full stream, your mentions, and your direct messages. While this is logical from a screen usage standpoint it doesn’t make as much sense in usability as your number of columns grows. I find that as I create columns of tweets from individuals I’m trying to follow it becomes difficult to scroll left and right to see those tweets. In a fast paced world like twitter scrolling left/right every minute or two just isn’t efficient. The solution seems to be to make rows and not columns. While you might not feel like you could fit as many rows as you could columns I think the result would be much easier to read for following individuals vs. the over all twitter feed.
I’m not just coming with a complaint. I’m also coming with solutions. I think the solution would be a combination of both. A column or two on the left and rows on the right. The advantage is that you can easily see new tweets by persons of interest apart from having to parse them from your timeline or potentially miss a tweet because their column wasn’t visible.