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Group Conversation

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Multiple people want to have a discussion together about a topic of interest.

Yahoo!'s short lived video chat program allowed groups of people to chat both in text and video.

Use When

  • Use to enable multiple users converse in real time.
  • Use within communication tools to expand the opportunities for conversation.


  • Show the user a large enough window to keep up with the ongoing conversation.
  • Provide a field for the user to enter their participating thoughts.
  • Fields should be flexible and be able to be resized.
  • Provide tools for text shortcuts like emoticons to visually impart emotions like laughing, sarcasm, sadness etc. If possible, show the graphic interpretation of the text symbols.
  • Clearly indicate who is saying what. Show the speaker’s name and consider showing a time stamp for each part of the conversation.

Private Group conversations

Any user can intiate a group chat in AIM by inviting others from their buddy list.

  • Allow one person to initiate a conversation and invite other participants on the fly.
  • Provide a list of people for creating group conversations. (See Buddy list)
  • Allow the user to save a transcription of the chat as a text file.

Public Group conversations

  • Allow users to create public conversation spaces on the fly.
  • Provide a search mechanism for user to easily discover public conversations.
  • If the conversation space is initiated by a user, allow them to name the room so that it can be found by others through searching or browsing.
  • Allow the space to be stored for later or repeat use.
  • Consider promoting or featuring interesting group discussions.

Related Patterns

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