Here are two examples of two apps doing the same thing, using drastically different UI paradigm.
As you can see, TwitterDeck is using a multi column approach while Twhirl uses a single column approach. When I saw TwitterDeck, I loved it. It looked like I would have all the information I need right where I wanted it. And being able to add searches as columns looked exciting.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take a long time to see that there are some distinct disadvantages to seeing all of that information in front of me all the time.
There are a few things that drive me crazy with TwitterDeck that Twhirl just solves:
Information doesn’t expire
I don’t get all that many direct messages, for example, but a direct message from Glenn from three weeks ago has the same level of importance as a reply from 5 minutes ago.
Time isn’t explicit
Look at the way Twhirl and TwitterDeck represent time. TwitterDeck shows it as a date, while Twhirl display a duration. I don’t want to figure out when I try to figure out when someone posted something. Just answer my question already!
Don’t make me think
When Twhirl detect a URL in a twit, it automatically shorten it. TwitterDeck has a specialized text box for that. It means another step along the way.
There is one thing about TwitterDeck that I would love to see in Twhirl, and that is to be able to subscribe to searches. But again, results from a month ago are not required.
Twhirl’s model of a flow of information represent information in a way that is much more consumable to me.