Mail/News Spec Online

Monday May 10th, 1999

Arielb wrote in to say that the specs for the addressbook and mail compose are now online. They attempt to address a number of issues in the current 4.5 designs. We encourage all of you to take a look at these specs, and contribute suggestions in the mail-news newsgroup.

#11 Re:Mail/News Spec Online

by mozineAdmin

Tuesday May 11th, 1999 2:04 PM

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I think there are two reasons the interface may look "cluttered", and neither has to do with the amount of information on the screen. The first involves the white/gray borders that may be popular in Unix environments but it makes the buttons less distinguishable. Making the bottom and right border black instead of gray would help greatly. Second is the single-color nature of the buttons (which are also of a blue-grey shade, which makes them blend in to the background color). From what I've been told, these are just placeholder images, and that they will eventually be replaced.

If there is a serious problem with users unable to find the attachments area and the "options" area, this should be dealt with. However, there is one major issue with the current possibilities - they invert the "natural flow" of the document. Attachments always appear at the end of the file, but the "add attachments" area is at the top. Security and encryption information are more equivalent to header information than to content, yet they are at the bottom of the dialog in the current examples.

A space below the content area for adding attachments (freeing up space on the top pane for security and encryption information) would help to integrate what beginners see in email they receive with the process they use to add attachments.