Sample Thunderbird UI redesign

Jim squibblyflabbetydoo at
Mon Nov 21 18:21:50 UTC 2016

On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 2:45 PM, Dave Koelmeyer <
dave.koelmeyer at> wrote:

> On 20/11/16 10:49, Philipp Kewisch wrote:
> >
> > Imagine for once that we had infinite manpower and could make any
> > changes, what do you like most about the mockup?
> I quite like the whole thing, actually. If anything this mockup throws
> into stark relief just how crufty and superficially off-putting the
> existing UI is.

The mockup is considerably more difficult to read due to poor contrast on
much of the text, making it less accessible for people with poor vision
(the Thunderbird logo plastered on the folder pane is especially
egregious), so that renders a lot of their UI changes unusable. They do
make things line up a bit better though; the Today pane in their mockup has
a header the same height as the main toolbar, which looks a lot nicer than
the current Today pane. We could also look at areas where we can reduce the
"weight" of some of the UI. While I think the mockup goes too far, there
are places here and there where we have superfluous borders/bezels/etc.

However, if you want a single feature that will enable us to make
substantial improvements to the UI, it's seamless iframes. With seamless
iframes, we could completely redo the message reader UI, making it easy to
scroll the headers with the body, as well as making it possible to
correctly handle full conversations without CSS leaking out and without
gross hacks to fix iframe sizing. That alone would let us make Thunderbird
look a lot different as well as fixing long-standing usability issues.

- Jim
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