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Web Mail 6.0 Sneak Peek (updated) - 12/08/06

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Web Mail 6.0 Sneak Peek (updated)
Date: December 8, 2006 10:38 AM
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I've updated this post and moved it back to the top of the list to get some user feedback now that our blog is fully live. I had originally posted this before we got the blog linked to Web Mail for all users to find it.

We're working on a new and improved layout and style for Web Mail to release in Q3 2007. Web Mail 6.0 will fix a number of usability problems, make the layout more logical, and have an updated, cleaner look-and-feel. Here's a mockup that is still being refined.

[ Click to view larger image ]


Over time the left navigation panel has become cluttered with additions and become somewhat disorganized. The new layout takes the task links out of the left panel and puts them in a convenient toolbar over the main content area. The left panel will then only contain folder links and not primary tasks, which are all being moved to the toolbar. Some of the other changes are:

  • Moved the signout link to the top.
  • Made the Inbox the topmost folder, as it should be.
  • Grouped the protection features and spam folders together at the bottom.
  • Improved the "Move to" control to be a one-step action.
  • Made the preview toggle much more obvious and intuitive.
  • Eliminated the visual clutter of all links being underlined as almost everything is a link.
  • Allow hiding the folder panel to get a larger Inbox view.
  • Updated the syling to be more visually appealing.

The improved layout and particularly the toolbar will pave the way for some performance changes we plan to make using AJAX to dynamically refresh the content area when task buttons are clicked. That will eliminate some of the full page refreshes that occur today when you change tasks or views. We already do this today with the Compose view. Click on "Write Message" in Web Mail today and you'll notice that the view changes instantly without fetching anything from the server and without refreshing the page. This idea will be expanded to other tasks.

Something we won't be doing to Web Mail, is going in the direction we see a lot of other Web Mail providers taking, where they are making pages very graphics-intensive in an attempt to make Web Mail look more like a stand-alone email software application (client application) running on your own computer. We believe a web application must first and foremost be light-weight and responsive, and that it shouldn't try to imitate a heavy client application. The concept shown here will have about the same weight as the existing Web Mail, hopefully even less.

As always, feedback is welcomed.


    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 76-78 of 78

Posted by: Brandon   |   March 24, 2008 2:04 PM    |   (76)

Would you give us an update on Webmail 6.0 and when we can expect to see more new features? I'm finding more of a need for web-based e-mail lately, but would like to see a more full-featured webmail client so that I can move away from a desktop mail application. My top requests are: Filters, iPhone support, IMAP access (from other mail apps) and sending in-line pictures (rather than attachments).

Thanks for your time.

Inserting pictures inline is on our roadmap. There may be some minor enhancements to filtering capabilities, but we aren't going to be able to offer open-ended user-defined filters anytime soon. Also, there are no plans to offer IMAP access, and no plans to build a WAP interface for mobile devices. All mobile devices including iPhone can access your EarthLink mailbox today using standard POP access. Just use pop.earthlink.net as the server.

To see some other things that are potentially on our list for enhancement this year, take the Web Mail survey linked from this blog and from the Web Mail login page.

Email Guy

Posted by: Shell Smith   |   July 18, 2008 4:16 PM    |   (77)

I fully appreciate that you appreciate feedback so much. Thanks for making your readers feel important. I have been reading a customer service book that has really improved my out look about feedback and feedback implementation. Thanks for doing this.

Posted by: Kathy   |   September 11, 2008 3:43 PM    |   (78)

I'm glad to see the reorganization of certain items, such as moving the sign-out link to the top of the page. How about moving the BLOCKED SENDERS LINK to the top, too? As it is now, you have to click multiple times just to get to the page. I'd like to be able to check a box next to the unopened email and press a button at the top of the screen to mark it as SPAM or to press a button at the top of the screen to ADD it to my BLOCKED SENDERS LIST.

You can do that now for domains, but not individual addresses. Click the Spam button. That brings up a popup with an option on it to add the domain to your block list.

And speaking of blocking senders, what I'd really like more than anything else is for Earthlink to give us the ability to BOUNCE emails back to the spammers. I have that feature in my MailWasher program that I use to preview emails that are still on the Earthlink server BEFORE downloading them onto my computer. And every time I choose to BOUNCE an email back to the sender, I also simultaneously add them to my BLACKLIST. The spammers who send the emails that I BOUNCE back to them STOP SENDING ME EMAILS, because they KNOW I will just BOUNCE THEM BACK TO THEM, EVERY TIME. If you could add that BOUNCE feature to webmail, you'd have the greatest webmail system out there! No one else is offering this feature with webmail, not that I'm aware of anyway. So please, BE THE FIRST! The technology has existed for quite awhile, as I have been using MailWasher for many years, since it first came out. So why not make that BOUNCE feature available on your webmail?? You have to admit it's a really great idea! So BE THE FIRST!!!

You're really describing a fake bounce, that is a message sent from your computer back to the spammer and spoofed to look like a bounce. That really can't be done on the server side, as real bounces occur before the email is ever accepted into our network, during the attempt to relay it to us, based on things like a bad address or a refused sender. There are established rules and standards for bouncing email at the provider level. Doing this based on individual preferences would break a whole bunch of email delivery standards, so you'll have to keep doing it with software installed on your computer as you are now. Email providers aren't going to generate fake bounces that falsely say that your address doesn't exist (or any other fake bounce message). That's ok for you to do on your own, but not for us.

Yes, it's a good idea but not a practical one.

Email Guy

    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 76-78 of 78

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