Brief 1.5

Brief 1.0 was released at the start of December as an evolutionary Chat Style from the initial quick fixes I did to Skype 5’s default Chat Style. As Skype announced their Chat Style design contest, they also released a “simulator-package” with an HTML file in it that presented all the states a chat window could be in.

This brought to light a few problems Brief 1.0 was having, especially in regards to voicemail and inconsistent positioning of some elements in edge cases. With these problems in the spotlight, it was time to update. Enter Brief 1.5.

What is Brief?

Brief is a Skype Chat Style designed to stay true to the default Chat Style of Skype 5, whilst removing many of the margins and getting more out of the space in the chat viewport.


Brief 1.0 was still heavily reliant on the assets of the original Panamericana Chat Style. For this version of Brief, many of these assets have been re-designed towards a more consistent lookas seen on dribbble. Buttons now offer clear feedback when the user has hovered or clicked them.

Specific chat items have also been re-designed, most notably transfers, calls and voicemails. The core values in designing these were – again – to keep the User Interface consistent, removing excess white-space and work towards a clearer experience.


With the original version of Brief, I’ve noticed some slow-downs when chat windows get a lot of messages in them. Brief has been re-written from the ground up with less RGBa values, opacity values, box-shadows and other lovely properties that hog our lovely WebKit browser engine.

Releasing Brief 1.5

You can download the latest version of Brief on the Brief website.

How to install Brief 1.5

  1. Go to Your home folder > Library > Application Support > Skype
  2. Create a folder called ChatStyles if it doesn’t exist.
  3. Drag Brief.skypeChatStyle into this folder
  4. Restart Skype.
  5. Go to Skype Preferences and choose Brief in the Style dropdown in the Chat section.

If it doesn’t seem to work after selecting the Chat Style in step 5, please restart Skype again. Mind you, Brief is only compatible with Skype 5 for Mac.

Hi There, Developers

Brief has a GitHub repository.

Brief 1.5 has been created using SASS. Both the source and the generated CSS files are available in the repository.