Hi,i am a computer science student and i was thinking of creating an online chat system for students in my uni as a final year project, i really need ideas on how i can go about my project, especially with the design, i am planning to use java socket programming with a GUI. Any idea you send to me will be very helpful.Thank you

Start by laying down the business requirements, then do a thorough usecase analysis.
Basically run through the entire development cycle and don't just sit down with a code editor and stare at your screen hoping that someone will write your software for you (or even more optimistic, hoping it will write itself if you just wait long enough).

Any system that's more than trivial needs an analysis and design phase, now's the perfect time to learn how to do that and apply that knowledge.
Sadly many people don't and end up producing poorly designed and written and undocumented software that doesn't function as expected, is over budget, buggy, and leaves customers unhappy and companies in debt.

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