Skype has for the first time reacted to the public fury regarding their new Skype 5 update for the Mac. The app was released earlier this year and ever since it has received a lot of feedback, mostly negative, due to the large redesign many consider a step back from version 2.8. On Friday, April 1st mind you, Skype finally reacted to the feedback with a blog post.
In the blog post, Skype addresses mainly two issues that has raised questions by numerous people. Perhaps one of the best posts on this so far has been by Lukas Mathis, a software engineer and a user interface designer. In the extensive post, he carefully outlines the different use cases he uses Skype for and explains in detail how the new design simply doesn't work.
Skype indirectly comments the issues Lukas Mathis raised in his post; multitask more within Skype and multitask more with other apps while using Skype. The company doesn't really answer any real problems people are having with the application, but defending their stance on the new design and accepting the fact that in some use cases the new design doesn't work as well as the previous version 2.8 of Skype.
One thing that is clear though. Skype for Mac is an important area of focus for the company. Skype also outlines their thinking regarding application design in the blog post:
Some background: at Skype, we build products for users ranging from grandmothers in China to 15 year old students in Connecticut – and everyone else in between. We take a huge number of factors into consideration when designing software: from different usage patterns (video/voice/IM) to technical literacy; from age to cultural norms. All of these have an impact on everything from product and process design, user interface layout, iconography and more. And given this diversity of design decisions, some of them occasionally fail to please segments of our users. I’d like to reiterate our commitment to one segment in particular – those of you who’ve been vocal in your feedback on the most recent versions of Skype for Mac.
An interesting addition to all this is, which is the right move, that the company made the previous version of the application available to the public. You can now go back and download Skype 2.8 if you're unhappy with the new design in Skype 5 for Mac.