EIFE: Project Details
Client User Interface
The user interface
The user interface for the application consists of a contact list and a message view pane.
The contact list shows all the contacts the user is able to communicate with. This list is divided into three parts: the guardian angel, new messages, and contacts. The ‘Guardian Angel’ section displays the contact assigned as the user’s guardian angel. The ‘New Messages’ section of the list displays contacts with unread messages. Though these contacts are also listed in the main contact list, they are also displayed in this list to attract the user’s attention. The ‘Contact List’ section displays all contacts other than the guardian angel, listed alphabetically by last name to allow the user to find individuals easily and quickly.
The message view pane is divided into two sections. In the first section, the user is able to compose messages by selecting a template or by typing in a customized response. In the second section, the user can view their message history with the selected contact. The message history displays all email messages to and from the selected contact. These messages are sorted in descending order, with the most recent messages first. If there are attached images, they are displayed underneath the message to which they are attached.
The XO laptop with navigation buttons enlarged
Photo credit: Mike McGregor, mikemcgregor.com
As well as a touch pad and keyboard, the XO laptop has two sets of four navigation buttons - one set on each side of the screen. The top and bottom buttons (up and down) on the left-hand side navigate though the contact list. The left and right buttons are not used at this time.
On the right-hand side, the buttons are divided into three key functions. The left (¨) button iterates through the list of template messages in the message composition box. The right (¡) button sends the email message as written to the selected contact. The top and bottom (r and Ï) buttons were allocated for scrolling the message view pane; however, this was not implemented at the time of the project demonstration.
Guardian Angel Interface
The Guardian Angel interface developed for our product allows Guardian Angel users to manage the communications of a number of EIFE users. These users are expected to have a higher level of computer understanding than the EIFE users, so the interface can be slightly more complicated in the name of allowing users to work more efficiently. The web interface is written with Web 2.0 Ajax technology which allows for seamless transitions between users and pages and automatic updating to display new messages and pending contacts without requiring a page refresh.
The Pending Contacts page shows messages from any senders who do not appear on the EIFE user's contact list. Until the contact is approved, the message will not be delivered to the EIFE user. The GA is presented with a spam rating, which would be generated by a third party tool such as Spam Assassin, to assist them in quickly recognizing spam content. If contacts are determined to be legitimate they can be added to the contact list by selecting the 'Accept' button. Any queued messages will automatically be delivered to the EIFE user. The 'Reject' button will delete all of the received messages from that contact but will allow future messages to be displayed in the Guardian Angel interface. If the contact is blocked then any future messages from that address will be automatically rejected.
Guardian Angel Design: Pending Contacts Page
A messages section is available in the Guardian Angel interface to allow easy communication with the managed EIFE users. Messages sent through this interface appear under the special 'Guardian Angel' contact in the EIFE Client contact list. The page is automatically updated as new messages are received or sent.
Guardian Angel Design: Messages Page
The contact list for managed users can be edited through the contact list page. This page allows for the manual addition or deletion of contacts. The name and email address for contacts can be edited through this interface by clicking the Edit button next to any contact. Contacts can be deleted with the Delete button. When a contact is deleted a confirmation dialog is shown to ensure that the removal is intentional. Once the delete is confirmed the contact is removed, all associated messages are deleted, and the client will no longer appear in the EIFE client's contact list.
Guardian Angel Design: Contact List Page
Contact groups can be created and edited through the Guardian Angel interface to create groups for EIFE clients to communicate with. The most common usage of this would be for having a list for direct family or small contact groups. Messages sent to the group would be sent to all members of the contact group and any messages received from any contacts in the group would show under the contact group entry in the EIFE client contact list.
Guardian Angel Design: Contact Groups Page
Email addresses of known invalid contacts can be blocked on a per-user basis. Any messages received from senders on the block list will be ignored and the SMTP server will return a 'user does not exist' error. When a pending contact is blocked in the Pending Contacts page, the sender's address will be added to the blocked email list. If a blocked email address is deleted then future messages from that contact will appear in the Pending Contacts page.
Guardian Angel Design: Block Addresses Page