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The Obvious: Skype Interface on the Mac Sucks

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Casual Adventurer

I came here for pretty much the same reasons to see if I could correct my Skype interface problems but I see now everyone has the same issues. I was going to ask how I could increase the width of columns so that when I reduce the window size, which is far too large now, I am able to see more than 3 or 4 letters of my contact. I could not give a **bleep** about the star and tags column and wish I could delete them or move them to the far right out of view.

I have been a UX and interface designer for over 25 years, I have to say this is one of the worst executions of the craft I have seen in sometime, not the worst, there is lots of competition.

The single window concept is a complete failure. They have removed or hobbled a number of useful features. Skype seems to have the idea that the window should dominate the screen.

I loved it when I could have a narrow window at the right of my screen, see people come and go and pop a note to them. Now I have to hide the window while I work, I miss people coming on and responding to a missive by me. Skype used to be larger part of my daily activity now it is gradually declining.


Oh well, wait for some competition and leave them.

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Honorary Adventurer
You can see just contacts and their status with version 5. Just select Window\Contacts monitor (CMD+3).
It's only idiotic because you don't like it and I think you'll find that following versions will give options to organise things more the way you want.
Can't please all of the people all of the time! ;-)
139 Replies
Reliable Adventurer

Yes, I totally agree.  Skype has been way too silent concerning addressing th Mac users "new" interface.  Either those who actually make the decisions are unaware of all the posts or they have no interest in explaining the lack of reaction.


They should be careful.  There are many Mac users who would move if.....

Mac Mini Server 2011
Mac OS X Server Lion 10.7.2 (11C74)
Logitech C910 Webcam
Casual Adventurer

Wow, I got **bleeped**. Sorry about that.


Love to see that list, considering what I said was pretty tame. Makes it look like like I said something fairly bad.



Casual Tourist

I totally agree!! This new interface is worse than ever. I was never happy with the interface since they made it an all in one window which is just way too big. But now it got even worse!! If I reduce the window size to something reasonable, I cannot read the names of my contacts and I cannot expand that column. Status column is way too big, and I am not even going to start about the useless star and tag columns.


Another thing that is really annoying is the sorting. I want to be able to see quickly , who is online and who is not. In previous versions this was automatically, since online contacts would show up on top. Now I have to sort according to the status which means that there are first the online ones, than the ones that are online but away, busy etc. So when earlier I exactly knew where to look in the list to see whether somebody is online or not, now I might have to look in 3 places until I find out that the person is offline. This interface might work if you have only a few contacts. But if you have quite a lot, this is really annoying!!



Novel Tourist

I so agree.  It's just cray how bad this is.  I used to be able to list 50+ of my online contacts but now the main buddy list window in 'list view' is luck to show 10 and even those I can't actually read the full names because the name column is too narrow.


and the floating window only lists by group and typially I just want to show all my contacts, or at least as many as I can.


The UI now takes up way too much room on my screen.  and they've removed the ability to screen share a part of the screen, which was a major feature.


luckily I've not upgraded my other mac so when working at home I can still use the old skype, but that version won't connect under Lion so I am stuck with this rotten new version.


I guess when Microsoft bought Skype they decided to ruin it for us Mac users.



Casual Adventurer

I forget to mention the sorting, yuck, useless in the currrent version as pimalmara details so well.


The other item that I cannot stand is the left side bar, that includes History and Contacts. Its delightful the way it works now when I get the occaisional porn spam request. I used to be able to block this kind of communication, now it becomes part of my history, treated equally with my actual contact conversations.


As to Microsoft, davesag, they were only cleared for ownership within the last few days with the approval of the EU. So I do not see their hand in this quite yet. It is, at best, a thin hope, but maybe any change might be good. Although worse things may be coming, like the current CEO dream of monetizing Skype by placing ads in the messages and in the video conversations.


Yum, can't wait for that solution. Or maybe they will go full Facebook on us and begin sharing our conversations with 3rd parties. Considering the realtionship between Microsoft, Facebook and Skype, this may no longer be a mere theory.

Casual Tourist

Happy to see that I am not the only one that wants to kill myself every time I try to use this interface. 

What's up with the contacts? can anyone tell me how am I supposed to include a contact in a group?


It's neat that I can see the contacts stored in my mac, but how do I add them to a skype group? When one of my contacts has more than one phone number (which is pretty often) and I drag it to a group it just copies one of the phone numbers (apparently chosen at random). And how for the love of god do I create a new group? I can't seem to find the option anywhere.


Looking around for contacts' phone numbers just to make a simple call has become a pain in the a**.

If Skype wanted to make this program easier to use they did a terrible, terrible job.


Not happy

Novel Tourist

Yeah, I agree too. There are so many problems with this new interface... It's amazing how there seems to be so much screen space dedicated to stuff you don't want, and so little dedicated to what you do — and how hard it seems to be to move around. Revert back to how it was before!

Novel Tourist
Hello there
I'm happy to join the community of not happy ones.
I waited quite a while before upgrading to v5 which didn't pleased me aesthetically, and finally decided to make the move because couldn't Share Screen any longer with v5 users.
Well, for all the reasons you mentioned I decided to go back to v2,8, it's downloding as I write ... and Im experiencing a big sense of relief.
Novel Adventurer

Hi, where can i get version v2.8?