UI mock-up - Account Setup

Mark Banner mbanner at mozilla.com
Tue Apr 30 08:24:22 UTC 2019

On 30/04/2019 06:37, Ben Bucksch wrote:

> we have just recently removed the option to create a new email address 
> from the default flow. It had been added by a UI designer back then, 
> because it seemed like a good idea.

I'm pretty sure (80-90%) this isn't true. I don't have the details (and 
I wasn't directly involved in it), but from what I remember, there was 
research showing that a significant number of people downloading 
Thunderbird from the website were also expecting to get an email 
address. At the time, we were looking for ways for generating income, 
and given the research it made sense to try.

It definitely wasn't a UX lead idea.

> But it's not. I've checked the actual numbers, how many people create 
> new email addresses, and how many set up existing accounts, and I've 
> found that only about 1 in 100000 users set up a new email address. In 
> other words: nobody. The additional dialog in front was not only an 
> extra step to click through which 99.999% of the people don't need 
> (that's not hyperbole, but literally 99.999%), but only adds confusion 
> for them. It's a lesson learned, and we shall never repeat this huge 
> mistake. I agree that it was a good idea in theory, but reality taught 
> us better.

Obviously research and reality haven't combined in this case. I don't 
think it was a "huge" mistake to try it, I think it was quite sensible 
and made sense at the time. I always thought it could have had a clearer 
selection between setting up a new email and getting a new email address 
- if anything that was the only mistake.

> I understand where you come from and why you think that makes sense, 
> you want to pick users up who don't know Thunderbird yet, but reality 
> shows that it's not only unnecessary, but highly detrimental to the 
> user experience to add this "helpful" dialog.

I think that the flow there makes sense and looks good. The set-up is 
clearly defined as the "default" option, with getting a new one 
available should one desire. It is also familiar as other apps/websites 
tend to use this type of flow.

> This dialog was created by a UX designer, and highly optimized to 
> provide exactly the right clues, and leave out everything unnecessary.

I'm not quite sure what you're saying here, what's "this dialog" the 
existing one or the one designed by Alessandro? In any case, I don't 
think it hurts to look at the dialogs and make them slightly more modern 
in style, and at the same time revisit some of the previous decisions.

> For example, I like your style. However, the error messages *must* 
> appear on screen and cannot be hidden in a tooltip that shows only on 
> mouse over.

Looking at the images it is unclear to me what the intention here with 
respect to the tooltips, maybe Alessandro can clarify. My immediate 
thought was that the informational tooltips could be display on hover, 
but if you make a mistake, then the error tooltips immediately pop-up at 
least for an amount of time. That would satisfy your requirement that 
they get displayed, but also allow them to look nice and not affect the 
layout significantly.

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