[Design] Re: e-mail feature suggestion - msgs received recently
lisa at osafoundation.org
Wed Dec 29 12:48:18 PST 2004
Actually, now that I think of it, I used to do the same. After
installing and configuring fresh email clients too many times however I
stopped setting that rule up. Rules have to be pretty easy to set up
otherwise I only do the most important rules that filter the highest
traffic (and lowest interest) mailing lists out of my inbox.
On Dec 29, 2004, at 12:09 PM, Oren Sreebny wrote:
> I'll speak up as one who uses color to designate "from" attributes - I
> have a set of high-priority people that I color-code messages from in
> - Oren
> On Wed, 29 Dec 2004, Philip Trauring wrote:
>> On Dec 29, 2004, at 12:48 AM, Mimi Yin wrote:
>>> I guess 2 questions remain for me...
>>> 1. Why is staleness *uniquely* suited to color?
>> The reason color works best is that it is the easiest to see at a
>> glance. I don't have to count any dots or interpret any symbols - if I
>> see a red folder I know there are new recent e-mails.
>>> 2. Why shouldn't color represent *Who* an email is from or what
>>> *Category* it belongs in?
>> I think anyone who deals with a lot of e-mails doesn't color-code
>> e-mails based on who it's from, but rather filters them into different
>> folders. I could be extrapolating my own techniques here, but perhaps
>> other people on this list could back me up. In any case, my original
>> proposal only had to do with the folder names themselves, mainly
>> because I don't want to even see the e-mails in these folders unless
>> there is a new (new being a relative term here) e-mail to look at.
>>> The dots, dashes and vertical lines are analogous to minutes, hours
>>> and days in 2 ways:
>>> 1. Fewer pixels (ie. a dot v. dash) correlates to smaller units of
>>> 2. Dots make up Dashes...and Dashes make up a Vertical Line Of
>>> Just as...Minutes make up Hours...and Hours make up Days.
>>> Color on the other hand lacks the same kind of analogous relationship
>>> to time.
>> While this is true, color is also a lot easier to interpret once you
>> know what each color represents. Some people are more
>> than others to be sure, but I don't think there's anyone who would
>> it harder to scan a list of 30 folders and see which ones were red
>> to scan the same list and interpret a series of dots and dashs. I
>> an important issue here is that most people check their e-mail while
>> doing other work - and prefer to be able to look at these things as
>> quickly as possible.
>>> I guess all I'm really saying is that when designing a visual UI, the
>>> use of color is a *high-priced* commodity and unless an attribute is
>>> just crying out to be represented by color, it probably shouldn't be
>>> represented by color.
>> Color does have one major advantage over other representations of
>> information - it takes up no additional screen real estate.
>>> In Chandler, there is only 1 place where we will use color...and that
>>> is to designate Triage status.
>>> Green means: Todo (Green as in Go)
>>> Yellow means: Do it Later (Yellow as in Wait)
>>> Red means: Junked or Deleted (Red as in Stop)
>>> Black means: Done (as in De-activated...probably the weakest link in
>>> the chain here)
>> I guess I haven't read enough about Triage in Chandler, and I realize
>> that Chandler is much more than an e-mail client, but these colors you
>> are mentioning again seem to require some interaction from the user
>> I'm not sure I would find this task system very useful for e-mail. I'm
>> looking for something that requires no interaction from the user. They
>> can pop into their e-mail client (or e-mail view of their PIM) and
>> quickly see if there is anything they need to attend to.
>> I spend a lot of time designing and refining UIs. I agree that you
>> to be careful not to overuse color. That does not mean that there are
>> not times that color becomes useful or even ideal. Although I think in
>> this case that color is the best way to go, I'm open to other
>> suggestions that work equally as well to solve the problem. I do
>> believe that time-based coding (whether or not it is color-coding)
>> be a big time-saver across the spectrum of e-mail users.
>> Philip Trauring
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