Something that’s been bugging me about the Google Wave interface are the icons that show you three participants from each wave in your inbox (and other searches). The origins of the feature make sense - in email we’re used to seeing who an email is from right from our inbox. In one and two person waves it does kind of make sense, but when you have multiple participants the icons stop being useful and just become clutter. To me it adds nothing to my ability to identify a wave and just makes my inbox “noisy”. The icons in the wave make sense, but I’d like a more thought out approach to identifying waves. Something like:

  • Make waves I’ve started a slightly different colour (like sites where the author’s comments are shaded slightly blue).
  • Don’t show icons at all in the inbox/searches (or make it easy to show and hide).
  • Let me tag or bookmark specific blips within waves and make it obvious from the inbox which waves have “starred blips”.

Now this post wasn’t started just as a gripe against something I’d like to see changed - I’d like to hear what things you’d change about wave if you could. I’m not necessarily talking features we know might come (like the recently switched on “Remove” button). I mean interface and behaviour changes that don’t make sense to you, or made sense at first, but don’t now you’ve used it a bit. What are your specific gripes and revolutionary ideas that would make using Wave more of a delight for you?

Wave is constantly in a state of flux, so there’s every chance the feature you hate might be altered in future. So get your pet peeves out here in the comments or on this post’s sister wave (embedded)

[wave id=“!w%252BPia29cqgA”]