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I have a list, which has an 'Approvers' column, which is connotated with users in a specific user group. At present, in the Infopath form for list entries, this appears as a text field where users can enter names and validate them, or do a directory lookup. It's possible to filter this by group, but the end user still has to type the name.

Since there aren't many people in the user group in question, I'd ideally like to display names in this group in a drop-down menu, so the end user can select easily.

Finally, this isn't necessary, but if possible it'd be good if the list view could still show the users' online/offline Lync status, as it does by default.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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You need to populate a drop down list in info-path form using a SharePoint list. To do so, follow below link:

Code Project - How to add a SharePoint list data connection to an InfoPath dropdown list box

It's simple and easy. Now for your case, in the step that you are selecting a list, try to select a list called "User Information List". It is created by default in any SharePoint site and stores information for users of the site.

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