UI mock-up - Account Setup
alessandro at thunderbird.net
Tue Apr 30 17:23:40 UTC 2019
Thank you all for the great feedback and suggestions, this is a great start.
Below you can find my answers and clarifications to your questions.
*Remove 'Get a new Email Address'*
I implemented that secondary button as Ryan told me there are potential
partnerships happening with various email providers. Offering a
"spotlight" placement in TB is pretty important in order to close
profitable deals with email providers, opposed to something like "We're
gonna put a link on one of our web pages". We need a stronger selling point.
The idea is to offer the ability to create a new email account directly
inside Thunderbird without leaving the client. Furthermore, once the
email has been created, TB would complete the setup automatically. A
seamless implementation for that tiny % of users that need a new email
I think we can all agree that, other than offering a stable and fully
featured software, we want to also on-board new users and grow our
audience. I don't think completely removing that feature would be a good
idea as the low % of usage can be attributed to many factors, like a
disconnected and confusing UI, unavailability of multiple providers, and
lacking of a properly guided experience.
That implementation might have been a failure, but that doesn't mean we
need to react with a "never again" approach. We should identify road
blocks, pain points, and iterate upon that.
*Why do we need a completely new dialog?
I'm not sure if what Ben Bucksch is referring to is my dialog or the
current TB dialog
/"This dialog was created by a UX designer, and highly optimized to
provide exactly the right clues, and leave out everything unnecessary."/
If this is related to the current dialog in TB, I'm sorry but I strongly
disagree. The current dialog is not optimized at all, on the contrary,
all the information and steps are lazily aligned and misplaced.
The input's helpers text are inline, which makes the dialog longer that
it needs. If there's an error, the message with a misaligned icon
appears to the right of the helper text, making the dialog grow, causing
elements and focus points to shift.
The configuration steps are not styled at all, it's just a text after
another printed at the bottom, not properly aligned and poorly utilized
to actually show the user what's happening and the steps to take.
Buttons are in the wrong order for a cohesive navigation.
I hope we can all agree that the current dialog is not a great "First
Experience" to offer to new users. That dialog sells TB short, making it
look unpolished, non-curated, and kind of like an amateur old software.
*Tooltips and error messages*
To guide the user in typing proper information, we can use a combination
of placeholder text and tooltips. Showing all the text at all times is
not a good solution as it clutters the dialog and distracts the user.
Tooltips can also be triggered dynamically without changing the size of
the dialog, which we should avoid as it disrupts the experience.
If the user types "bob", we can have a check in place for lowercase
single words in order to trigger a timed tooltip to state "This is the
name your recipients will see", or something like that.
If the email is incorrect, the field can shake and a timed tooltip can
Tooltip messages can be shown on mouseover as well.
All these solutions create visual cues that catch the user's eye,
without moving elements around or changing the location of fields and
buttons, like it happens in the current field.
*Cancel the dialog
This is something I'd like to hear your thoughts about it. Since any
dialog can be closed through the window controls, do we want to
highlight this option with a dedicated button?
The idea here is to somewhat prevent this if the user access TB for the
first time and no accounts is set up. Is TB usable in any way without an
Anyway, a "Set Up Later" button or link can be added on the first
screen, but I wouldn't add it or keep it once the user is in the funnel,
to prevent accidental clicks or confusion with the back button.
Thanks again everyone for taking the time to review these mock-ups.
Taking design decisions is always hard as everyone has its own taste and
expectations, but I'm sure we can all work together to improve the
experience of using TB, and create an interface that it's modern and
appealing, and can help us solve problems, gain new users, and solidify
the trust with our current audience.
Lead UX Architect
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