Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.
I’ve had a Google Wave account for a short while now, but (like many users I’m sure) the slow invite system resulted in me having very few people to test it with. Last night I had my first real-time three way conversation, and it really highlighted the short-comings of the current user experience.
The most irritating issue with Wave’s current UI is that it’s slow as molasses when lots of things are going on. Scrolling fails to work properly, clicks don’t register when they should, and you get false clicks as the screen re-draws under your cursor. This is in an up-to-date version of Firefox (3.5.5), on a fast laptop and with a fast broadband connection. I think a native client rather than a web app would be a significant improvement in this respect, though I doubt we’ll see one from Google.
The next challenge is fundamental to the way that Wave works. Because any user can start a new response to any part of the wave, or edit any existing part of the wave, it quickly becomes difficult to track what is happening. I admit that we were messing around, but the volume of text we had was relatively low, and it still became tedious tracking down which edits you’d read and which were new.
So my first impressions were not overly positive. Having said that there are a number of features that Wave has that really do set it apart from email & IM:
While I really like the principal behind Google Wave I’m yet to be convinced that the current implementation will be good enough to replace email and instance messaging.
Email: colin at owlfish.com