Assessment by Sebastian Audet

Before I began this project, I had worked with pidgin for a couple years. However I was not familiar with all its preferences and hence elected to take its plugins and preferences on for this job. I was impressed by the ease of use in switching to use of preferences and plugins, their variety, power, and depth, and hence I am convinced that this program is a good example of HCI. Its menus are all consistent, clean, and intuitive to use, it is practically self documenting, and it has enabled a user like me to go from novice to expert with it painfully, especially considering my wide use of other such programs such as Trillian, AIM, and skype.

The things pidgin could do better however, would be support that has long been missing for Windows for Video and Audio, as well better theme control. Also, File-transfer is better in Pidgin than in most IM programs I have found in my experience using it, however they could eliminate a lot of computer side bugs that cause file transfer to be rather unusable and unstable in Pidgin. Otherwise it is a simple, clean, and intuitive interface that keeps the user loyal and unlikely to want to switch to a more cluttered messenger.

This is also an excellent tool for collaboration; simple interface allows for easy textual collaboration among users, and the possibility for file sharing and multiple options makes things better by giving the user more control. Granted, it might not be used alone, however it forms a solid program for textual collaboration where e-mail may fail.

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