Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Jul 2012 01:24 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "We're able to produce absolutely stunning websites and mobile apps with great interaction design. Interfaces that are smooth and fun and let us understand information without even trying. But when it comes to email clients, we get a bit of a boring feeling, like using an old piece of software from 10 years ago. I think we can do better. So let's do that." Great ideas and beautiful design by Tobias van Schneider, but why he would forcefully shoehorn this clearly digital UI into Mac OS X is beyond me. It has no place there. This just screams Metro.
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willm.wade
Member since:
2010-07-13

This is the sort of think that should have been there with Thunderbird, but instead it is just going to fade away...

Reply Score: 5

Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Wed 11th Jul 2012 01:51 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Maybe it's time designers learned to program

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kwan_e
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Jul 2012 02:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by kwan_e"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe it's time designers learned to program


That is what XAML was meant to be for - programmers could focus on the heavy lifting backend whilst the front end could be worked on by experts in usability and design. Same can be done in the case of Mac OS X where backend and front end are separated rather than intermingled together.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e
by ndrw on Wed 11th Jul 2012 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kwan_e"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Thunderbird is already written mostly in XUL+JS and it doesn't seem to make much difference.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by Nelson on Wed 11th Jul 2012 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Except XUL doesn't hold a candle to XAML and the tooling around XAML is lightyears ahead.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e
by WorknMan on Wed 11th Jul 2012 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kwan_e"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

That is what XAML was meant to be for - programmers could focus on the heavy lifting backend whilst the front end could be worked on by experts in usability and design. Same can be done in the case of Mac OS X where backend and front end are separated rather than intermingled together.


So what happens if you're the programmer and don't have a designer working for you? I guess you're fundamentally boned. At least with Windows Forms and VB6, this wasn't really an issue.

As for the article in question, I can't really comment on it since I am visually impaired, and I can't use my screen reader, since the author made the whole f**king web page an image.

WHAT AN ASSHOLE!!!

Reply Score: 16

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by Soulbender on Wed 11th Jul 2012 05:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I can't use my screen reader, since the author made the whole f**king web page an image.


Yeah, that's a big WTF even though I am not visually impaired. I mean really? In 2012? The whole page pretty much is a giant image?
Not a good start for showing off your awesome new email client design.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by Nelson on Wed 11th Jul 2012 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

You can write XAML without being a designer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e
by WorknMan on Wed 11th Jul 2012 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

You can write XAML without being a designer.


You can write HTML without being a designer either, but the results are usually unpleasant ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by kwan_e
by Nelson on Thu 12th Jul 2012 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Same doesn't really hold true for XAML. HTML is harder, has as ridiculous layout model, and has poorer tooling.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by OSNevvs on Wed 11th Jul 2012 06:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
OSNevvs Member since:
2009-08-20

That really beats everything...This guy wants to reinvent a webmail, and he turns his page unreadable to visually impaired audience. Fail!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by Morgan on Wed 11th Jul 2012 06:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Right there with you. My eyes aren't bad enough (yet) to need a screen reader, but would it have killed the guy to slice up his image and replace the rendered text with the real thing for those who do need it? Come on, I'm rusty when it comes to doing that kind of thing but I could manage it in about 20 minutes.

Or hell, at the very least embed the copy in alt text.

Yet another example of a supposedly great designer not using plain old common sense.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e
by lucas_maximus on Wed 11th Jul 2012 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Font replacement is pretty trivial (Cufon and the old text-indent: -9999px), and almost un-necessary these days since Google fonts and services such as Font-deck.

the font face property has been available since IE5.5 I believe or even earlier, it just that nobody seems to know how to use it.

Edited 2012-07-11 12:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by No it isnt on Wed 11th Jul 2012 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Designers have a reputation for being superficial wankers, and that web page is a great example as to why: it's set up to look nice, but without any respect for the medium it's supposed to work in. And so are the ideas presented, asking for "perfect spacing and clean typography". In email. Good luck with that.

Then again, the web site, despite his efforts to avoid the limitations of actual web design, is actually not well designed at all, not even for people without visual disabilities. It just looks fancy while ignoring function. It's a load of fluff.

There's one good idea in there: a priority inbox. I wish someone like Google will pick up that.

Reply Score: 12

RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e
by phoudoin on Wed 11th Jul 2012 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

There's one good idea in there: a priority inbox. I wish someone like Google will pick up that.


One word: tags.

With filter, you can even automatically assign a priority tag to well-known senders or based on content.
Yeah, that looks like favorites senders feature.

Maybe this designer confuse looks boring with behave boring.
An infantilized looks may be funny to look at, may make you wish to lick your display device, but it doesn't make it automatically more efficient.

A hammer is an old looking tool. Still the best one to nail down anything...

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Comment by kwan_e
by No it isnt on Wed 11th Jul 2012 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Yeah, well, I was being sarcastic. The thing this guy calls 'actionstep' is basically a manual but somewhat more fine-grained version of Google's priority inbox. Not that you can't work priorities manually in Gmail as well...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e
by lucas_maximus on Thu 12th Jul 2012 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Designers have a reputation for being superficial wankers, and that web page is a great example as to why: it's set up to look nice, but without any respect for the medium it's supposed to work in. And so are the ideas presented, asking for "perfect spacing and clean typography". In email. Good luck with that.


While I agree that the majority of people who call themselves designers fall under this, real designers real will actually try to make something that not only looks nice but works nice.

The former group, I normally refer to them as artists.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by Morgan on Wed 11th Jul 2012 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I emailed the author about the issue and he was very receptive, apologizing for ignoring accessibility rules and promising to ask his web developer friends for tips on doing it right in the future. He also said he would try to add alt text to the page as soon as possible.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e
by lucas_maximus on Thu 12th Jul 2012 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

That is pretty good actually. Bravo if actually does it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by KLU9 on Fri 13th Jul 2012 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

For the visually impaired, here's what's written on the page...

When the first web page was published in the early 1990's there was no big difference to the web we know today. And that's the problem.

Technology has been evolving over the past couple of years. But I still turn text articles into a f#*king great jpeg, just like pisspoor excuses for webmasters used to do back in the 90s.

Technology has advanced, but I had to do this text-to-jpeg conversion manually, because there's no way to do it other than in my $800 edition of Adobe Photoshop.

How come then that the Web has never really changed? This ticked the part of my brain that likes to design boring fonts that "fix" the "problems" in Helvetica and which nobody will ever use.

I know of course that I can do better and I've done just that. You can attach my Nobel prize and send it to me at my .me address.

1. Text is useless and not fit for a creative workflow. All web creation programs (Dreamweaver, Indesign, ...er... FrontPage.... er... that's it) should *automatically* convert text into image files. Like jpegs. Or even better: animated GIFs!!

2. I'm always looking for ACTIONSTEPS (patented, copyrighted, registered trademark). Once I've created my FGJFT (f*#king great jpeg for text) webpage, I want my web editor to automatically offer logical next steps, like "Add auto-playing MIDI" or "Upload to following: Tripod, Angelfire, Geocities".

3. And why does nobody but me ever have the intelligence to think about ***stuff***? Christ, am I only one with a brain?

Thank you for basking in my worthiness.

Disclosure: I have edited the original article somewhat... you know, for length.

;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by kwan_e
by zima on Mon 16th Jul 2012 03:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

When the first web page was published in the early 1990's there was no big difference to the web we know today. And that's the problem.

Technology has been evolving over the past couple of years. But I still turn text articles into a f#*king great jpeg, just like pisspoor excuses for webmasters used to do back in the 90s.

You know, the first browser didn't even really support (at first?) display of images within pages ...it opened them in new windows - window per content, maybe a user of WorldWideWeb wouldn't even notice much of a difference & that is how it's supposed to be? ;p
(but seriously, WorldWideWeb was in some ways nicer, being also a graphical editor)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kwan_e
by Soulbender on Wed 11th Jul 2012 05:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by kwan_e"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Or for programmers to learn to design or maybe even, dare I say it, for designers and programmers to work together.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Wed 11th Jul 2012 06:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kwan_e"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Or for programmers to learn to design or maybe even, dare I say it, for designers and programmers to work together.


I personally think programs should be written to be as skinnable as possible so that designers and programmers don't have to work together at all. The programmers provide the functionality and infrastructure as modular (signal driven) as possible.* Designers just design the interface and glues everything together with signals however they like.

But actually my comment was meant to be taken as - if designers really want to get noticed above the noise of many designers coming onto the scene, they really should know enough programming to produce working prototypes of interfaces.

As others have noted, the website is all about flash which creates an impression but overshadows any suspicion that it had any interesting ideas. It ends up only showcasing the designer's aesthetics in website design and not the actual concept he was selling.

* I work on Eclipse plug-ins. It fails really hard - its design patterns end up completely going against the principles of "information hiding" into full blown coupling.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by Nelson on Wed 11th Jul 2012 07:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

This is exactly what XAML allows generally, if you're a purist and follow a design patter to the t.

Often it's a lot more work than what it helps, so I'll settle for something like 80% - 90% frictionless Developer-Designer experiences.

The designer rapid prototyping and iteration is still up there though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by dsmogor on Thu 12th Jul 2012 09:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I heard Adobe Fireworx is quite good on doing functional prototypes with a bit of JS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by lucas_maximus on Thu 12th Jul 2012 17:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I personally think programs should be written to be as skinnable as possible so that designers and programmers don't have to work together at all. The programmers provide the functionality and infrastructure as modular (signal driven) as possible.* Designers just design the interface and glues everything together with signals however they like.


I disagree, I think both should have an appreciation of the other so they can communicate effectively when developing a product.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by tupp
by tupp on Wed 11th Jul 2012 02:02 UTC
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

That web site by Tobias van Schneider is too cluttered and incomprehensible (and ugly).

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by tupp
by Kivada on Wed 11th Jul 2012 03:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by tupp"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Yeah, this is yet another "designer" with a "solution" in search of a problem... We have far too many of those these days.

Edited 2012-07-11 03:34 UTC

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: Comment by tupp
by OSNevvs on Wed 11th Jul 2012 06:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tupp"
OSNevvs Member since:
2009-08-20

It's a lot about being fashionable or old-fashioned. To these people influenced by social pressure, everything has to be reinvented always. Right now, they need to pollute everything with Facebook and Twitter integration and icons. For me, email works very nicely, and the "problems" he "raises" are not problems. I'm very happy with my Gmail interface and backend. Really nothing to "fix". I don't use Facebook.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by tupp
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Jul 2012 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by tupp"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It's a lot about being fashionable or old-fashioned. To these people influenced by social pressure, everything has to be reinvented always. Right now, they need to pollute everything with Facebook and Twitter integration and icons. For me, email works very nicely, and the "problems" he "raises" are not problems. I'm very happy with my Gmail interface and backend. Really nothing to "fix". I don't use Facebook.


I disagree - it has to do with a generation unable to tell a person that they're a moron and need to learn some basic computing fundamentals. We have a person writing an article (in said link) to solve a problem because he probably heard a friend whine about how 'email is such a pain' when in reality it is friend being a moron rather than there something necessarily wrong with the traditional email applications that exist. It reminds me of the whole arguments about folders, directories etc. and how things should be easier - when in reality what needs to be taught to Joe and Jane Sixpack are organisational skills that are necessary not only on the real world but also when using a computer to deal information - be it documents created, emails or anything else one might think of existing in a file form.

Edited 2012-07-11 11:57 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by tupp
by lucas_maximus on Thu 12th Jul 2012 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by tupp"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

While some people are desperately stupid.

And while I agree with you comment in this instance.

I have to say generally I think you are assuming too much.

People have different mental models of how the world works, I think many of us that are developers, power users etc share certain mental models.

For example, I still use Winamp and Organise all my songs into Albums ... Why do I do this, when there are better options available?

Because my mental model of my music library is modeled after a Vinyl Record Player.

My younger friends do not have this mental model and use things such as tags, genres etc ... while I am still stuck thinking in "There are two records to this album".

Currently a lot of how we interface with a computer is actually an expression of another persons mental model of how to represent the data in a system.

I am sure some will say "well what other ways are there, this works".

But directories and email is still someone's mental model of how something should have worked.

Saying someone is a moron because they have a different mental model of how the information is to be presented is a little ignorant IMO.

Edited 2012-07-12 18:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by tupp
by greygandalf on Wed 11th Jul 2012 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by tupp"
greygandalf Member since:
2008-04-07

Exactly. Since Email hasn't changed, we don'ìt need something revolutionary each year to manage it... What has changed is the amount of attachment, amount of messages we get. For some people it also means different accounts, different aliases. I want an email program that doesn't get in my way and that leaves me to do what I need.
If I am on a desktop, I want a clickable, usable interface which integrates with windows. I don't need ribbons and touch-friendly interface. The same is true for tablets. Even on a NetBook I desire a differently designed interface.

That is what I find the beauty of email vs. "web". I can use a proper client based application which handles a common protocol.

Reply Score: 3

design
by dukes on Wed 11th Jul 2012 02:18 UTC
dukes
Member since:
2005-07-06

Tobias' design reminds me a lot of the Sparrow e-mail app for OS X. Looks like a little bit more functionality needs to be programmed in to realize his design.

Reply Score: 3

Author is wrong.
by tidux on Wed 11th Jul 2012 02:22 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

Email HASN'T changed. It's still RFC822 format messages, delivered over a network via UUCP or SMTP. Just because your retarded client has an HTML rendering engine built in and executes attachments by default doesn't make it a different protocol.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Author is wrong.
by pysiak on Wed 11th Jul 2012 08:38 UTC in reply to "Author is wrong."
pysiak Member since:
2008-01-01

I'm pretty sure you understand he meant EMAIL as popular use case, not an IT system. So, you're correct, but this isn't about protocols and systems, but about widgets and clickables for end users.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Author is wrong.
by tidux on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Author is wrong."
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

What the hell is "email as popular use case?" It's a protocol. Words have meanings.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Author is wrong.
by pysiak on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Author is wrong."
pysiak Member since:
2008-01-01

When you start doing business, working with the world (not just technical folks), communicating in a way that is understood by people you will find out that EMAIL is: someone's account, a button to send email, a document being sent, a concept which means that someone will get what you send. That it is WHAT YOU DO to achieve a goal.

EMAIL WAS RFC822 or whatever when it was used by a fraction of people.
EMAIL currently IS a USE-CASE. It's a verb.

So when this guy wants to describe something for the people, he uses words with meanings for those people. Not accuracy-loving geeks but normal-erring folks who share photos of their kids with their grandmas :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Author is wrong.
by tidux on Wed 11th Jul 2012 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Author is wrong."
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

That's what I like to call "wrong." I refuse to coddle people by condoning that level of idiocy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Author is wrong.
by pysiak on Wed 11th Jul 2012 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Author is wrong."
pysiak Member since:
2008-01-01

I think the moment you start calling people idiots is the moment where you ought to rethink your strategy.

I'm pretty sure no reward comes from not giving people room to stray from definitions just for the sake of correctness to some point in time.

Some point in the past I realized that the world isn't what I wanted it to be and it's a lost fight to make everybody use proper terms and know everything I expect them to know, e.g. SPAM, RFC822, SMTP-AUTH, TLS, etc.

By the way, RFC822 does contain a single instance of: EMAIL or e-mail. It's just mail.

What is the benefit of this discussion anyway?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Author is wrong.
by Delgarde on Wed 11th Jul 2012 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Author is wrong."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

What the hell is "email as popular use case?" It's a protocol. Words have meanings.


No. POP and IMAP and SMTP are protocols. "Email" is a category of tools that use those protocols. "Email" is what human beings actually use.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Author is wrong.
by Soulbender on Thu 12th Jul 2012 02:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Author is wrong."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's a protocol.


No it isn't. That's like saying regular "mail" is the mail truck, and only the mail truck.
"Email" is what we send and receive using a number of different protocols.

Reply Score: 3

v So sad
by jared_wilkes on Wed 11th Jul 2012 04:02 UTC
because that's what he uses
by Soulbender on Wed 11th Jul 2012 05:13 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

but why he would forcefully shoehorn this clearly digital UI into Mac OS X is beyond me. It has no place there. This just screams Metro.


Maybe because he's a Mac user? Could it really be as simple as that?

Reply Score: 3

Meh....
by gan17 on Wed 11th Jul 2012 05:30 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

1. The page is just one big image. Wtf? Are we still in the Geocities era?

2. I find any web "interface" that loads up my CPU more than 5% (average), completely perverse. It's just email, for phuq's sake!!

3. Mutt configured with some carefully selected Xdefaults/Xresources colours and scripted to have relevant apps open attachments (mplayer, image viewer, pdf reader..etc) completely shits all over this and almost anything else out there, both in terms of speed, usability and (imo) aesthetics.

This might be nice on some newfangled tablet or metrosexual desktop, but not on a rig I'd do work on.

Edited 2012-07-11 05:49 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Meh....
by Radio on Wed 11th Jul 2012 07:28 UTC in reply to "Meh...."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

100% white monospaced text on black is bad. This is readability 101.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Meh....
by crimperman on Wed 11th Jul 2012 09:11 UTC in reply to "Meh...."
crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

1. The page is just one big image. Wtf? Are we still in the Geocities era?


I thought that too. It breaks about every accessibility guideline there is and reminds me why I correct people who call me a web designer. I am a web *developer* and to me this is much more than being able to code.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Meh....
by zima on Mon 16th Jul 2012 02:00 UTC in reply to "Meh...."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

2. I find any web "interface" that loads up my CPU more than 5% (average), completely perverse. It's just email, for phuq's sake!!
3. Mutt [...]

I guess that for a long time, for most of email history, Mutt would be at least similarly heavy on relative resources...

And let's not kid ourselves, it's just non-viable as an alternative, most people don't and don't want to use text UI.

PS. Generally, Mutt sucks! :p

Edited 2012-07-16 02:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

fast/good looking
by antonone on Wed 11th Jul 2012 05:40 UTC
antonone
Member since:
2006-02-03

I'd be more happy to have a Fast email reader than a GoodLooking(TM) one.

"Fast" is like Mutt, not like Thunderbird, which is slow. Maybe on i7 it's fast but then it's still too slow; on a powerful machine it should be *instant*, not just *fast*.

Reply Score: 1

Actionsteps
by Coxy on Wed 11th Jul 2012 05:55 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

Maybe he has always been searching for it but I haven't. Maybe he should bother to explain what an actionstep is and why I need it.

I like marking mail as read, I like dragging mail into a todo list folder. I get 8 mails a day. I don't use online networking and don't need that crap in my mail.

If they guy really spend 50% of his time going through email, there is something wrong with him. Having said that, his site is great.... shame he used images for everything.... but I think apple do this on their home page too. He is a fanboi.

Edited 2012-07-11 05:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Actionsteps
by Soulbender on Wed 11th Jul 2012 08:12 UTC in reply to "Actionsteps"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Maybe he should bother to explain what an actionstep is and why I need it.


Yeah, I was wondering about that too. Wtf is an ActionStep? From the looks of it it's some kind of glorified tag. You know, tags, what most email clients have implemented forever.

but I think apple do this on their home page too. He is a fanboi.


At first I thought "no way Apple do that" but ...WTF? They do. So much for that awesome design sense...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 11th Jul 2012 06:03 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

This is lipstick on a pig. He’s taken a "10 year old program" and dressed it up to look 10-years younger, but it’s still the same underneath.

Where Mozilla have failed with Thunderbird is that they have not seen the pains that users are going through with webmail.

If it were me in control; this would be my "email" plan going forward:

1. Make Thunderbird a glorified Firefox extension; people could still download and install a program, but it would just be a special shortcut to launch Firefox and go straight to Thunderbird

2. Market it as "webmail made easy". Make account setup super simple, even import them automatically from the saved usernames/passwords in Firefox

People are not going to download, install and setup an app to do their webmail, but they will if it’s just a toolbar button in Firefox and (for the most part) preconfigured.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by kwan_e on Wed 11th Jul 2012 06:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

This is lipstick on a pig. He’s taken a "10 year old program" and dressed it up to look 10-years younger, but it’s still the same underneath.


I'm forced to use Lotus Notes where I work. I'll take lipstick on a pig.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Radio on Wed 11th Jul 2012 07:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Just ditch the email standard altogether. There is a good reason why younglings use facebook, or enterprises are more and more switching to wikis/yammer/stackExchange/etc.

Email is constrained and unsecure, that alone should be its death spell.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Vanders on Wed 11th Jul 2012 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Just ditch the email standard altogether. There is a good reason why younglings use facebook, or enterprises are more and more switching to wikis/yammer/stackExchange/etc.

I don't particularly want to have a discussion with my mortgage advisor via. Facebook, nor do I want the gas company to send me bills via. Google+.

I work in a place that's using or has attempted to use in the past HipChat, Yammer, Lync, Jabber, Confluence and possibly a few more that I've forgotten. The number 1 method of official communication is still email (Exchange) and the ticketing system (Jira): and Jira still generates email.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Radio on Wed 11th Jul 2012 12:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

When I said wiki, did I mean wikipedia? No. I am talking about the design and concept, not one website. You would not use facebook or G+, but "a" kind of facebook-like, or G+-like managed by your mortgage advisor/gas company or a third-party (like all customer lines are outsourced to specialized customer care services).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by sorpigal on Wed 11th Jul 2012 17:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

The only thing I like about this thing is the attempt to deal with email attachments in a less-stupid way. At least he realizes there's a problem, even if he can't accurately identify it.

Remember, kids, SMTP is not a file transfer protocol *and never will be*, and that's a good thing. Just say NO to base64 encoded binaries.

Reply Score: 4

Interesting read...
by kawazu on Wed 11th Jul 2012 07:07 UTC
kawazu
Member since:
2005-12-11

... despite all the various issues about the page itself. Personally, I don't think that "MacOS vs. Metro" or "WebMail?" or any other of the technical implementation aspects really do matter here. To me, he definitely has valid points. Sure, for administrative purposes (dealing with and eventually discarding a load of mails as fast as possible) I tend to use mutt once in a while, and I mainly am using Thunderbird to get my daily work done. Yet, I also see a load of shortcomings in handling e-mail. Keeping _everything_ that belongs to one project (mails, drafts/mockups, pieces of code, ...) in _one_ single place is just one of these issues. I so far failed to find a meaningful way of doing so with any of the clients I used (well, maybe it would work by completely using Google Mail/Docs and having it all online but that's completely no option for business stuff IMO). So in the end I totally agree with the conclusion: Working wit e-mail needs to be redesigned. It needs to be redesigned beyond most of the current, "tech driven" means of handling mails and should be more "task oriented", indeed. Looking forward to see whether anyting meaningful will arise out of this. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Interesting read...
by pysiak on Wed 11th Jul 2012 08:45 UTC in reply to "Interesting read..."
pysiak Member since:
2008-01-01

So in the end I totally agree with the conclusion: Working wit e-mail needs to be redesigned. It needs to be redesigned beyond most of the current, "tech driven" means of handling mails and should be more "task oriented", indeed. Looking forward to see whether anyting meaningful will arise out of this. ;)

So this kind of opens the door to David Allen's Getting Things Done [tm] method with such options to apply it to email like:
- GTD Add-in for Outlook - https://gtdsupport.netcentrics.com/trainingmaterials/tour_2010.php (I recommend you view one or two tutorials to get a glimpse)
- GTDInbox for GMail (now known as ActiveInbox) - http://www.activeinboxhq.com/index.html

Examples above are not strictly UI redesigns, they build on top of existing user-familiarity with current UI and add a process that helps you get on top with emails.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Interesting read...
by kawazu on Wed 11th Jul 2012 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting read..."
kawazu Member since:
2005-12-11


So this kind of opens the door to David Allen's Getting Things Done [tm] method
[...]
Examples above are not strictly UI redesigns, they build on top of existing user-familiarity with current UI and add a process that helps you get on top with emails.


Yes, definitely. Though so far I haven't found a GTD application that actually does all I need (especially talking about including / linking to files), this is pretty much all along the lines I would like to see a mail client to work in 2012. ;)

Reply Score: 1

"we get a bit of a boring feeling"
by l3v1 on Wed 11th Jul 2012 08:43 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

we get a bit of a boring feeling


I say it slowly, so as everybody can understand:

There is nothing wrong with boring.

Especially with a stable working e-mail client. Boring is good. I don't need thrills with an e-mail client. I need it to have the required functions and do them reliably.

The thrill comes from the e-mails' contents, not from the application that views them... ;)

Reply Score: 13

Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 11th Jul 2012 12:34 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thunderbird has been taking care of all my needs very well, and I have 5 (five) email addresses. I could get rid of some of them, but I find it crazy that they are stopping the development of Thunderbird.
OS X Mail wasn't working that well, I wouldn't get mails from my google or hotmail accounts.
I don't know how I could replace email with Facebook.
As a matter of fact, I could live perfectly well without Facebook, and sometimes I have deleted my account.
I don't touch other social networks at all. What is wrong with meeting people in real life or phoning them?
Certain things don't need to change. A letter was a letter 50 years ago and it is still a letter. Only difference, you can write it with a computer and with a word processor.
Similarly, an email is still an email.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Kivada on Thu 12th Jul 2012 00:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by Anonymous Penguin"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

They aren't actually dropping support, there is just not much new major work left to do.

All thats really there is bug fixes security and compatibility updates. And thats a good thing, there is no reason to endlessly reinvent the wheel. Just look at where that kind of thinking has taken Windows, Gnome, KDE, Unity etc...

Reply Score: 2

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually I agree, hoping that it really ends there.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by phoudoin
by phoudoin on Wed 11th Jul 2012 12:44 UTC
phoudoin
Member since:
2006-06-09

So:
- label + sort by label = priority feature
- sender avatar/picture = social networks integration
- improvement = control the galaxy

Yeah, right, this is a *revolution*.

Beside the fact that he consider mail being the sole input for task management, the first two features is already available on several mail solutions.

15 years ago, I was already using BeOS file system live queries to have dynamic views of mails, sorted per priority, category, sender or whatever made sense at that time to my organization needs.

Okay, that one is kinda missing : sortable attachemnt view, with previews. Fall far from the "re-design" verb, but I guess these days every design polish is called immediately a revolution, so...

Edited 2012-07-11 13:01 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Suuure....
by dylansmrjones on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:26 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

Now we're at it, why not redesign the alphabet? I mean it's several millenia old, and it's really boring to look at. Not to mention it wasn't invented here (as seen from Scandinavia).

:p

Reply Score: 4

RE: Suuure....
by Doc Pain on Wed 11th Jul 2012 23:44 UTC in reply to "Suuure...."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Now we're at it, why not redesign the alphabet?


An excellent idea! Why not use arbitrary Unicode implementations to remove all this distracting letters from the e-mail? I mean, nobody wants to read that! So let's just put animated pictures in there, throw some multimedia (annoying sounds) at it, integrate it with Facebook and finally put it somewhere into the cloud. As tidux wrote: "Words have meanings." -- that should be changed in favour of something... more easy and entertaining! :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Suuure....
by dylansmrjones on Sat 14th Jul 2012 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Suuure...."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

throw some multimedia (annoying sounds) at it


Whoa, bad trip!

BGSOUND? Let's reintroduce it. With dancing hamsters and all ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Suuure....
by zima on Mon 16th Jul 2012 02:36 UTC in reply to "Suuure...."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Now we're at it, why not redesign the alphabet? I mean it's several millenia old, and it's really boring to look at. Not to mention it wasn't invented here (as seen from Scandinavia).

But we did redesign the alphabet, numerous times - no alphabet is that (several millenia) old in unchanged form. Plus, even some not-too-old, purely graphical forms of "our" alphabet are often barely discernible, for us not used to them (for example, after my grandfather I have some ~century old books in a form of Blackletter, so just in the German variant of Latin alphabet ...thing is, I'm basically unable to read them at all)

And you did have an alphabet of your own, in Scandinavia, with runes ...I'm mostly descended from the only major European group of people (and more broadly, within the Mediterranean cultural background) who, as far as historians can tell, most likely didn't have any writing system in the full meaning of the term ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Christian_Slavic_writing and PL article is more extensive, GTranslate works bearably).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Suuure....
by dylansmrjones on Mon 16th Jul 2012 09:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Suuure...."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Heeey... we still have the runes. And it is not an alphabet. It is a fuþark (kewl, ALT GR + t works for thorn). Alphabet is that silly thing the monks brought with 'em.

The latin alphabet is largely unchanged, at least in regard to capital letters (or bookstaves).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Suuure....
by zima on Wed 18th Jul 2012 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suuure...."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The latin alphabet is largely unchanged, at least in regard to capital letters (or bookstaves).

But not for several millennia ...well, OK, there is some ambiguity of meaning with that word, but it usually tends to mean more than 2 or 3 (with "few" used more for smaller amounts). Making Latin borderline, at best (plus still unusual, with relative longevity; NVM largely incomprehensible past ~font styles that I mentioned)

Edited 2012-07-19 00:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

(Re)Thinking
by sorpigal on Wed 11th Jul 2012 17:15 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

There are problems with "email." This guy doesn't know what they are or how to fix them, but he senses it.

What are the issues? What are the causes? What are the solutions? I can identify some of these things.

The first 'problem' with "email" is that it's email and not something else. What I mean is that email as such has no problem, but the things people want to do with the concept are out of sync with the protocols, formats and interfaces that exist. Some people turn to so-called alternatives (wave, facebook messages, etc) but these are not replacement for all classes of use.

The way people want to use a non-instant, asynchronous, one-to-many, arbitrary-sized person-to-person and person-to-machine means of communicating and exchanging data is at odds with the system we have today which is called email.

In a corporate environment email is a different thing than it is to a private user. A kernel developer uses it differently from a college student, should such a student use it at all (which is no longer certain). It's unlikely that all users could agree on an improved UI, because they don't agree on the current UIs.

The problem with the article's author's attempt to design a new "email" UI is that it is addressing the cosmetic and interactivity problems of a small subset of use-cases without addressing the architectural issues which lead to the problems he sees, and to the problems he doesn't see. If you identify how you *want* to use "email" and design a new system that makes such usage natural then the UX problems the author identifies, and many others, will fade away without effort. If you attempt to bolt on a new coat of paint (if I may mix my metaphors) then you will perpetuate the fundamental flaws of the structure underlying your paint and prevent entire classes of users from seeing any benefit of your "improvements."

Some things to keep in mind. No matter what replaces email it will have certain characteristics: It will have no central authority, it will use identical-looking identifiers (user@host, etc) and it will also be called email.

Reply Score: 4

This guy hasn't used Thunderbird
by tuaris on Thu 12th Jul 2012 03:46 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

Briefly looked over the article, and it looks like that this guy has never used or spent more than a few hours with Mozilla Thunderbird. I can perfectly understand his frustrations if he's a Mac Mail user (which appears to be the case), but overall I see no problem with the way most "good" email clients are designed.

Reply Score: 3

Author just described Zimbra
by phoenix on Thu 12th Jul 2012 05:35 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Every message, every contact, every calendar event, every attachment, every todo list item indexed and available through a very powerful (yet simple-to-use) search system. Create custom searches and save them as virtual folders.

"ActionSteps" are just tags used to prioritise items. And the "Next Steps" item is just a saved search, sorted by tag and by date.

Want perfect spacing? Then configure your viewer/editor to use the font of your choice. Personally, I use a monospaced font for viewing all my e-mail (and I get all squirrelly inside when I have to read a "pretty" message with HTML crap all over it).

Want "social interaction"? Add some Zimlets (aka plugins) to enable it.

Want better handling of attachments? Well, they're all indexed, making searches very easy (including text inside most common document formats). And you can save attachments to your Briefcase, giving you a nice "personal cloud" access to your files.

And, if you don't want to run your own Zimbra server, there's always the Zimbra Desktop Client, which gives you all the power of Zimbra, but for accessing any POP/IMAP server, Yahoo!, GMail, and Hotmail.

Reply Score: 4

Visual?
by JAlexoid on Thu 12th Jul 2012 11:39 UTC
JAlexoid
Member since:
2009-05-19

Sorry, but some visual changes does not redesign make.
Want to redesign. Throw out all preconceptions(see MacBook Pro with Retina as a good example)

Reply Score: 2

v 1
by Anonymous on Wed 18th Jul 2012 04:34 UTC