New account dialog (was: Outreach to end users)

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at
Wed Mar 22 00:26:24 UTC 2017

Blake Winton wrote on 21.03.2017 16:34:
> I see a few people making the claim that everyone already has an 
> account, and expects Thunderbird to just download their existing 
> email, but the user research that Mozilla Messaging did found exactly 
> the opposite, which was what lead to the development of the Get An 
> Account feature in the first place.

Yes. I don't doubt that you found that people expected that. But that's 
explained easily in a different way:

Onno wrote:
 > This is especially necessary, since people don't always realize what 
an email client is or does
 > and they don't understand the difference between the program and the 
mail address.

I think Onno is spot-on. That also matches my personal experience with 
non-geeks. They just don't know what an email client is, and they cannot 
even imagine that it's possible to use Thunderbird with Hotmail. That's 
where their confusion and expectation comes from.

Once they saw that it's possible to use their existing email addresses, 
and easy to set up, and much more convenient than logging to Hotmail, 
they were overjoyed and loved it. So, the conclusion is that we need to 
tell people that they can do this, and that this makes sense.

That experience completely matches the market research you cite, just 
with a different reason (people misunderstood) and a different 
conclusion (we can do better than they expect).

> As I remember it, we would have loved to add more account types, but 
> none of the providers we contacted were interested (with the obvious 
> exception of Gandi).

Well, that's just the most obvious and practical reason: The dialog 
makes no sense with only Gandi there. But even if we had Hotmail and 
Gmail in there, I'd still think the patch is right.

Why should we let people create a new email address? Who doesn't have 
one already?


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