Sample Thunderbird UI redesign

Chris Ilias tb-planning at ilias.ca
Fri Dec 2 00:18:14 UTC 2016


On 2016-11-17 3:12 PM, Dave Koelmeyer wrote:
> Interesting post:
>
> http://monterail.com/blog/2016/the-power-of-email-clients-why-did-we-redesign-thunderbird/
>

Has the discussion died down? Now all of you are going to hate me for 
continuing it. :)

First, I think it's great that people are thinking about Thunderbird UX, 
even if it's just aesthetic.
Even if many of us have no issues with the design, I'd be interested to 
know which version of TB each of you started on. There have been 
significant changes, and many of us have just gotten used to things that 
may not be as intuitive in later versions. For instance:
Here's a screenshot of TB1.5: http://ilias.ca/screenshots/tb15-theme.png
Here's a screenshot of TB45: http://ilias.ca/screenshots/tb45.png

When I started using TB, it had a menu bar by default. The menu bar was 
replaced with a menu button. I suppose I would have assumed the button 
at the end of the toolbar was the path to all those commands. The 
addition of a calendar pushed the menu button away from the edge of the 
window, and I don't think I would interpret it as a menu button anymore. 
It's in the middle of nowhere and looks like a big grippy.
Maybe extend the toolbar across the window?
Change the icon to something like a gear?
Move the menu button up in the tab bar? I don’t know about anyone else, 
but I rarely have more than one TB tab open anyway.

If I'm a new user, and I've just set up an account using the wizard that 
pops up on first install, what are the next actions?
get new messages
* view message list
* view message content
* view other folders
* reply to a message
* write a new message
* add a signature
* create additional account?
* set up filters

Looking at the TB45 screenshot, how intuitive are each of those tasks? 
Would you know where to go to set up a signature, set up filters, or 
create an additional account?

By discussing the logic of the layout and common use-cases, I think we 
can come across some low hanging fruit, and get more people interested 
in contributing to TB.

I'm also kinda lost regarding who Thunderbird is for. It does email, 
newsgroups, RSS feeds, address book, Calendar, to-do list, IRC, Jabber, 
and other messaging, but no central place to launch those components, 
like in SeaMonkey.

Here's another one: Why do we have a menu item to create "Other 
accounts", when it only offers one account type? 
http://ilias.ca/screenshots/tb45-otheraccount.png

Interestingly, that TB1.5 screenshot was from a blog post I did about 
not liking the TB2 theme. :) 
http://ilias.ca/blog/2006/11/i-dont-like-the-new-thunderbird-theme/


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