If you are like us at Foliovision, you are running several key services as SAAS (software as a service). I don’t know how many SSB (site specific browsers) you have, but if you’re like me you have lots. There’s nothing worse than an ugly system icon slipping into the mix on an early deployment, as these SSB are open all day long. This happened to me recently and here’s what I had to do to clean up the real scruffy low res HelpScout icon which was all I found the day I set up the HelpScout SSB.
We’ve been looking for a way to share help and mail for awhile. For a single mailbox, apparently a shared Gmail inbox can help but quickly runs into limitations. Relenta which we use for group mailings can also work for a single mailbox but is not at all suited to sharing multiple mailboxes (you have to switch between departments).
helpscout preview application switching with new pretty icon
For the moment we are trialing HelpScout. It works pretty well although there a few things we don’t like about HelpScout, the three most important of which are:
- can’t see source (source helps with fixing any routing issues: we are piping a lot of existing and legacy channels in)
- can’t edit outbound quoted text (a real nuisance that means we can’t remove any internal info from some of our forms)
- pricing: it’s per user.
About pricing: we like to bring everyone on board for our projects and we have a big team. This quickly becomes an expense measured not in the tens of dollars but the hundreds. There are some alternatives Live Agent from QualityUnit which can be bought as an owned application or SupportBee which does offer per ticket pricing. Live Agent is ugly as sin and a bit clunky so the choices are not as clear cut as they might be. Looks are important for tools one uses all day long.
In the meantime, I am running HelpScout as a Fluid App (dedicated browser or SSB). What’s great about an SSB is that when some incoming client’s broken website crashes Safari all my project management and help tickets remain open in their own applications. FluidApp is the best $5 I’ve ever spent on software
Each dedicated browser needs its own icon though (actually an appl.icns file in the Resource folder in Fluid App). Usually you put this icon in when setting up the Fluid browser. In the end I didn’t like what was out there for HelpScout (low res and pixellated) so I’ve made a good quality transparent png/icns from another file with a dark background. I’m uploading them here so that anyone who wants a good looking application icon for HelpScout can enjoy this one.
HelpScout dark background
HelpScout icon edited as transparent PNG
I cleaned off the background just using the tools inside Acorn 3 (I’m on Snow Leopard) with a bit of magic wand, circular select and a 3 px eraser. No Photoshop needed. It could be cleaner but looks perfect in action as is except at the largest sizes.
Here’s how you install the appl.icns file in an existing Fluid Browser or application. Right click your Fluid Browser and navigate down to resources. Delete the existing appl.icns. Your new icon will only show up after logging in and out (relaunching the Dock and the Finder won’t do it, I tried) or restarting the computer.
Alternatively you can use Panic Software’s now free CandyBar application which will allow you to change the icon instantly without login/logout.
CandyBar is a bit confusing and overkill for changing an icon or two (it’s 148 MB of software) but after you change the icon for your application, CandyBar will prompt you with a message “Changes are ready to be applied. Cancel or Apply Icons”. Once you choose Apply, CandyBar runs some unix commands which immediately update your icon. If you have a lot of icons to customise, CandyBar will save you lots of time. If anyone knows the unix commands to update OS X icons, I’d be happy to know the none-software route.
Alec has been helping businesses succeed online since 2000. Alec is an SEM expert with a background in advertising, as a former Head of Television for Grey Moscow and Senior Television Producer for Bates, Saatchi and Saatchi Russia.