Philosophy of minimal disturbance of existing users

Blake Winton bwinton at
Wed Sep 19 02:08:43 UTC 2012

On 18-09-12 17:53 , John Crisp wrote:
>> I'm completely aware users don't generally like to learn new
>> procedures to do things. That doesn't mean they shouldn't ever do so,
>> for their own good. The goal of course is that it would be very
>> intuitive and a positive overall experience.
> And there lies my argument 'for their own good'. Says who ?
Says the community members developing and leading Thunderbird, I would 
think.  Who else would be in a position to make such a decision?
> I, along with probably the vast majority, only ever use a tiny fraction
> of the functionality.
And yet it's been shown time and time again that the tiny fractions that 
each set of users uses doesn't overlap that much, and manages to cover 
all the features of any given product.
> We started using TB because it WAS simple, but refined. Reliable.
> Steady, incremental changes, not a headlong rush over the precipice in
> search of nirvana.
> It has become more 'fluff' and less reliable and hence why we have been
> looking at other, simpler, products.  I am sure that we are not alone.
How do you square this with the fact that Thunderbird's user base has 
been growing as the developers have been adding features?  If 
Thunderbird loses 100,000 users, but gains 1,000,000, would you consider 
that a good trade-off, even if you were one of the users it loses?


Blake Winton   Thunderbird User Experience Lead
bwinton at

More information about the tb-planning mailing list