Reinventing email

9 Dec 2003 - 3:20pm
10 years ago
3 replies
518 reads
chaxxx at mac.com
2003

An outstanding example of user research and interaction design from
IBM's Collaborative User Experience Team.

http://www.research.ibm.com/remail/index.html

"The Collaborative User Experience (CUE) team in IBM Research has spent
nearly a decade studying email. Not only has email become one of the
most pervasive and successful collaborative tools available, it has
also become a key component of IBM's Lotus Software offerings. In many
ways, email can be seen as a victim of its own success - users
increasingly suffer from overload and interruptions as well as use
email in a manner for which it was not intended"

- chad

---------------------------------------------------------------
Chad Jennings
chaxxx at mac.com

---------------------------------------------------------------
Method
chad at method.com
www.method.com

---------------------------------------------------------------

.

Comments

9 Dec 2003 - 4:26pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Chad, this was very interesting indeed.

What I kept noticing as a dual Outlook 2003 and Lotus Notes user (g-d I hate
this thing) is that ReMail is just a tiny step ahead of Outlook2003. The
labels are different but the functionality is the same.

Areas where ReMail moves past Outlook that are worth noting:
1. better visualization tools. I'm not sure though that I would use these
tools. I'm a pretty heavy e-mail user and I don't think that seeing a map of
the responses is really useful here. Maybe in a business case it might help
me figure out some stuff, but if I just went w/ a time-based threaded
"conversation" as MS calls it I get basically the same effect w/o the added
iconagrphy.

2. I think their single inbox is a bit more powerful and open. Including
wikis, rss, and other non-traditional messaging protocols and methods would
be very interesting to see how it works.

In general though, I don't feel this is that remarkable, though I do
appreciate them recording and publishing their experience in creating this
app. I recommend people looking at this article as an interesting case
study.

I mean they didn't even include spam management. ;)

Enjoy!

-- dave

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of chaxxx at mac.com
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 3:21 PM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Reinventing email

An outstanding example of user research and interaction design from IBM's
Collaborative User Experience Team.

http://www.research.ibm.com/remail/index.html

"The Collaborative User Experience (CUE) team in IBM Research has spent
nearly a decade studying email. Not only has email become one of the most
pervasive and successful collaborative tools available, it has also become a
key component of IBM's Lotus Software offerings. In many ways, email can be
seen as a victim of its own success - users increasingly suffer from
overload and interruptions as well as use email in a manner for which it
was not intended"

- chad

---------------------------------------------------------------
Chad Jennings
chaxxx at mac.com

---------------------------------------------------------------
Method
chad at method.com
www.method.com

---------------------------------------------------------------

.

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10 Dec 2003 - 9:14am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Hello!

I have seen these email advances, and they are quite interesting, but
they are still text-only affairs which could just as well have been
implemented on the text based screens before the bit-mapped era and
windowing. For all practical purposes we do not yet have a truly
graphical GUI.

In the real world we can deal easily with hundreds or even thousands of
pieces of mail or notes because the shapes and colors, the textures of
all these items are present around us at relatively high resolution,
over large enough areas of office space. At a glance we can sort
things out without even opening envelopes or reading the little notes
because of the rich graphical metadata involved.

Up to now graphical elements in email have not been vaailable as
metadata permitting such informal sorting. In order to see the
graphics of html mail (for email postcards or other things) or other
forms of imagery one has to first open the mail. Same thing with
dedicated systems like Lotus Notes mail: One has to open the message
before getting to see the graphical letterhead chosen by the user.

Up until recently giving the ability to view lists of graphically
enhanced email would not have been of much use. The relatively low
resolution of screens (compared to paper spread around all the surfaces
of an office)would have entailed viewing only a hundred messages or so
at once, to benefit from a richer graphical expression. Things have
changed somewhat in the last 12 months when IBM introduced its ultra
high resolution 22 inch screen resolution LCD (QUXGA-W 204 with pixels
per inch for 3840pix by 2400pix and a total of 9.2 mega pixels) and
then licensed its manufacture to companies like Viewsonic. With this
sort of screen one can view thousands of email messages bearing
thumbnails or logos significant enough to permit a human being to scan
the lot in an instant. Microsoft has taken a slightly different tack
with their Dsharp/Broadbench prototype. Gary Starkweather, the
inventor of the laser printer (and quite a few other things) aims to
give the same number of pixels as the IBM screen, but on a wider,
slightly curved surface reminescent of the SUN Starfire video
prototype.

The next required advance is in providing in a semi-automatic or
automatic manner those significant images or graphical distinctions.
Bonnie Nardi and her associates (Steve Whittaker, Ellen Isaacs, Mike
Creech, Jeff Johnson, John Hainsworth ) noted the diffculty involved in
finding significant images of email senders or sendees, in their
contact Map research( Integrating communication and information through
ContactMap: http://www.izix.com/pro/lightweight/contactmap.php

More recently James Fogarty proposed a solution for a useful visual
identity for email by the means of a set of automatic search mechanisms
scouring the Web for faces and/or logos and integrating them in email
and other messaging tools.

Alain V.

--- chaxxx at mac.com a écrit : > An outstanding example of user research
and interaction design from
> IBM's Collaborative User Experience Team.
>
> http://www.research.ibm.com/remail/index.html
>
> "The Collaborative User Experience (CUE) team in IBM Research has
> spent
> nearly a decade studying email. Not only has email become one of the
>
> most pervasive and successful collaborative tools available, it has
> also become a key component of IBM's Lotus Software offerings. In
> many
> ways, email can be seen as a victim of its own success - users
> increasingly suffer from overload and interruptions as well as use
> email in a manner for which it was not intended"
>
> - chad
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Chad Jennings
> chaxxx at mac.com
>
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Method
> chad at method.com
> www.method.com
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
>
>
> .
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements
> already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

11 Dec 2003 - 4:53am
Manu Sharma
2003

I'm on the digest mode, so I may be a bit behind.

It's good to see that people are finally designing alternatives to the
inbox-outbox-compose e-mail interfaces. IBM's Remail though still has a long
way to go. Opera's new e-mail client -M2 - that comes bundled with its
version 7 browsers solve many problems with organising e-mail that Remail
attempts.

For one, Remail still requires users to manually set filters. M2 too has
filters but it also has multiple "Access Points," your e-mails are
automatically sorted into various "Views" [analogous to folders] as soon as
they arrive. M2's "Labelling" feature is much more easier to use than
Remail's collections. And finally, Remail doesn't address needs of those who
send out dozens of e-mails everyday. M2 does, with a "Quick Reply" feature
right at the inbox level.

I wrote a long rant on the state of e-mail interfaces and M2's features,
back in September: http://tinyurl.com/oury

Also, check out http://www.caelo.com/ for an e-mail organiser add-on utility
for Outlook.

Manu.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 12:20:34 -0800
From: chaxxx at mac.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Reinventing email
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Message-ID: <24B0EA8E-2A85-11D8-B0B7-003065F953A0 at mac.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed

An outstanding example of user research and interaction design from
IBM's Collaborative User Experience Team.

http://www.research.ibm.com/remail/index.html

"The Collaborative User Experience (CUE) team in IBM Research has spent
nearly a decade studying email. Not only has email become one of the
most pervasive and successful collaborative tools available, it has
also become a key component of IBM's Lotus Software offerings. In many
ways, email can be seen as a victim of its own success - users
increasingly suffer from overload and interruptions as well as use
email in a manner for which it was not intended"

- chad

---------------------------------------------------------------
Chad Jennings
chaxxx at mac.com

---------------------------------------------------------------
Method
chad at method.com
www.method.com

---------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 16:26:45 -0500
From: "David Heller" <dave at interactiondesigners.com>
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] Reinventing email
To: <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
Message-ID: <20031209212851.C75DB149690 at pillage.dreamhost.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Chad, this was very interesting indeed.

What I kept noticing as a dual Outlook 2003 and Lotus Notes user (g-d I hate
this thing) is that ReMail is just a tiny step ahead of Outlook2003. The
labels are different but the functionality is the same.

Areas where ReMail moves past Outlook that are worth noting:
1. better visualization tools. I'm not sure though that I would use these
tools. I'm a pretty heavy e-mail user and I don't think that seeing a map of
the responses is really useful here. Maybe in a business case it might help
me figure out some stuff, but if I just went w/ a time-based threaded
"conversation" as MS calls it I get basically the same effect w/o the added
iconagrphy.

2. I think their single inbox is a bit more powerful and open. Including
wikis, rss, and other non-traditional messaging protocols and methods would
be very interesting to see how it works.

In general though, I don't feel this is that remarkable, though I do
appreciate them recording and publishing their experience in creating this
app. I recommend people looking at this article as an interesting case
study.

I mean they didn't even include spam management. ;)

Enjoy!

-- dave

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