Sample Thunderbird UI redesign

Benjamin Kerensa bkerensa at
Sun Nov 20 08:44:45 UTC 2016

On Nov 20, 2016 12:20 AM, "Klaus Hartnegg" <hartnegg at> wrote:
> Am 19.11.2016 um 19:17 schrieb Benjamin Kerensa:
>> I think your missing the point which is you shouldn't be shooting down
>> ideas without user feedback and data to support shooting it down.
> One could equally well argue that those, who want to change a
surprisingly successful project, have to provide data to support their
> Yes, a few years ago, we have seen an increase in size of icons, compared
with previous touch displays. However: the reason was purely technical,
because plain and simple capacitive touch detection is cheaper, but a lot
less precise. That's why we can exactly specify the day when this trend
started: it was the introduction of the iPhone. This was the first
mass-market device that used capacitive touch detection.
> But recently we see the trend in the opposite direction: tablets get
pencils, stylus, or whatever you want to call them. Their purpose is not to
keep finger prints off the glass, but to provide finer control.
Interstingly both Apple and Microsoft are doing this same thing, despite
otherwise following opposite strategies as to how similar the UI of mobile
and desktop should be.
> In the light of these facts, I would like to see some really good
arguments for a suggestion to increase icons, and insert whitespace into a
desktop UI. I must admit that I haven't looked at the rest of the
suggestions. I'm not generally against improving the UI.
> Note that I am not generally against whitespace. Regarding the too
similar direction-icons for incoming/outgoing emails, I was the one who
suggested that the bigggest contrast to some symbol is not another symbol,
but whitespace. However in that case the whitespace would no be added, but
it is replacing a symbol with whitespace. Whitespace is a great design
element. But I would not add unneccesary whitespace to an UI, except when
necessary because technical limitations of the hardware. We do not have
this situation on the desktop.

I'm not suggesting a specific UI but rather that when making decisions to
dismiss a UI as to flashy or modern it seems new UI is being dismissed for
personal reasons not focusing on the end user.

Yes you are right the first email users are getting older but I'd doubt
you'd find that most TB users are old.

Again learn who the users are and their demographics and needs. Right now
anything said here is speculation without any user research.

And I do not agree with the statement that TB doesn't have the ability to
improve UI die to limited resources. Postbox is a two or three person
part-time operation. TB is nearly a dozen people plus casual contributors.

TB needs to be looking at the future and continuing to create a compelling
reason for users to remain loyal and not go to alternatives like Postbox or
even webmail.

I personally use Postbox these days because it's more stable, modern and
feature rich than TB (and actually built by some of the folks who built TB
in the past)
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