Oh wait... after a while I look for a UI element - a scroll bar. And this is the only clue I get to tell me how to navigate. Is this a good design choice, to make it appear like your only options are one of two actions, while relying on a native browser control to hint to the user that they can scroll to get down to the information they are going to need to start making decisions?
(I'm not arguing that this can't be a good design choice, but at least for me, personally, it seemed pushy, while also being unintuitive if you're not there to take one of those actions.)
1) A scroll bar
2) Clipped content
Many browsers hide the scroll bar, so the only thing left is 2).
For some reason designers think that it's a good idea to scale the content in such a way that the initial page load looks like a complete page.
This is so idiotic! You are actively misleading the customer! You are hiding all the marketing copy.
Some designers have realised this is a problem, and they add a little arrow to indicate you can scroll. Nobody understands those weird arrows except other designers.
The easiest way to tell users that there is more content is to show it! Make it so that part of the second headline is visible, and noone will miss the fact that there is more content below!
If you go for sexy screenshots, sure, go make your first section fill the browser window. If you want your visitors to read your page, don't do that!
I find it extremely fascinating that some people actually have to look for a scroll bar or clipped content (spoon fed) in order to scroll down. Sometimes I don’t even know there is one unless I have to speed drag on a long page.
If designers want people to know something exists, they should generally make it visible. Especially given that with pages like this one, deemphasizing or hiding things is a common dark pattern to force people to think there are no alternatives.
google.com comes to mind.
Actually, now that this post curiously made me look: https://duckduckgo.com/ ACTUALLY has content below the initial search form. I have been visiting that page for a very long time now and I actually never knew that until testing it right now to add to above list. Wow.
aside: not sure why you included the word "static" in there, since it's kind of irrelevant to what users see. Maybe you meant it in a different way than most people take it, which usually means the site looks the same to all users.
> I find it extremely fascinating that some people actually have to look for a scroll bar or clipped content (spoon fed) in order to scroll down.
This demonstrates serious lack of sensitivity as you're unable to look beyond your own immediate usage.
Before I read the comment you replied to I myself too thought that I'd need to open the Inspect Element Editor to kill the modal hiding the example page / example image of the "Kaban Email", even if it were just an image I wanted to see what it looked like and if it seemed like something I'd enjoy / benefit from using.
On touch devices, yes. On desktop, not really. I think Safari on OS X is the only one, all others (basically everything on Windows and Linux) always show scroll bars on scrollable content. And on touch devices, users tend to try scroll quite readily, so I don't think clipped content is a necessity.
However, artificially stretching content to the fold is still against the idea of a (scrollable) website.
This setting in terminal will always show scroll bars.
System Preferences > General > Show scroll bars: Always
Turns out the UX of the website had been user tested extensively. The design they chose was the most successful at achieving their goal (new user signup or something).
The learning lesson was you may not be the target user for the design. Or you may not realize what the primary goal of the design is.
Edit: This was the article I referenced https://medium.theuxblog.com/there-are-no-ux-best-practices-...
To clarify I wasn't trying to defend dark / grey UX patterns. Just thought I'd share as it helped me look at (what I consider) bad UX in a different frame of mind.
If a user doesn't understand something that a designer has worked to make hard to understand, that's bad UX, not good UX. If the phrase "user experience" is to have any meaning at all, the analysis has to be centered in the user's values, not the designer's.
As an example, if a mark is taken in by a well-executed pigeon drop , one could call plausibly call it a well-designed scam. But one cannot call it good UX.
“Well, actually, it is a gun, and it is a very good design for its intended purpose. It’s just that the manufacturer does not have your interests in mind.”
Sounds like they didn't define their goals well. I bet that would lead to a lot of people signing up just to learn more and then abandoning their accounts.
Personally, I provide fake info/email address to sign up on sites when it is required but never plan to return to the site. Do they get more signups this way? Yes, but it is probably a low quality user group and not likely to convert further.
A bad design doesn’t get better just because there are excuses that explain why it’s like this. It’s hard to justify that "Someone visiting my website to get info about my product" is not a target user.
1. Oh, this isn't for me, glad I found that out quickly - saved me lots of frustration.
2. Yeah, I'm not the target audience for this but I know of another niche where this is useful despite that - I might actually try it out!
It also gives a very bad impression of the company to actively not caring about frustrating users they are not interested in.
1. Never assume you know more about a design than the company that made it.
2. You don’t know the problem that the design is solving.
3. Don’t jump to conclusions until you have data to back it up.
4. You don’t have to be right to be a good designer. You just have to listen when you’re wrong.
5. Always test. Always.
6. There are no UX best practices.
In general I tend to align with you though. Do right by the user, and its probably the right thing for your company too!
You could call it a well-executed exploitative design, I suppose, but you can't call good UX when the U has an X that is by their lights bad. And even calling it "good design" only works if one thinks design has absolutely no ethics built in.
As a comparison, you can't really call what Josef Mengele did "good medicine". It doesn't matter how technically skilled he was or how much he accomplished for his employers, because medicine is deeply and explicitly patient-centered. Many designers believe that unethical use of design skills is flat out bad design, no matter how much money it makes.
Some MVPs presume that some instruction and filtering of users takes place outside of the app. In my company, we make “early access” versions of features that presume there is a product manager talking to an early access customer and walking them through its use.
Other times a feature is being launched to a wider audience, and we cannot presume they know anything about it. In that case, if it doesn’t interest them and inform them enough to use it, it is not really viable.
So... I neither agree nor disagree with you about MVPs not caring about landing pages. I think we need more context. Perhaps for the purpose of “Show HN,” it is a fine MVP. But perhaps it is not a good MVP for the purpose of my tweeting “Check this cool app out.”
I really hope this is just autocorrect getting hilariously overzealous, heh.
That's not the first impression they want.
Let's see if I have this right: so, apparently this false "full page" design gets more people to sign up than if it were clear there was more content on the page? Is that right?
So following that logic, wouldn't you get yet even more sign-ups if it actually was just a full page Signup/Login choice? I mean, the "secret" content that the initial appearance is trying to "hide" can't possibly be helping the signup counts, can it? Otherwise you'd just have a "normal" page with clipped content that can clearly be scrolled, wouldn't you?
What I mean is, I can't understand the existance of more content except to "reward" visitors who either notice the scrollbar or (apparently) try to scroll on every page they encounter.
Please help me connect the dots, oh Monochromatic Lords of the Grey Pattern!
If someone is not interested in the two options they have - done by purpose to increase sign ups - they will try something else like scrolling; which in this case is more information about the product.
I don't like it, but that's my understanding.
So I don't think it's a good design choice, no.
My first thought was that if you have to put a moving sign saying "scroll down ya dummy", then maybe you shouldn't be designing pages like this? But hey, at least they tell you to do it, unlike most others.
I also don't really pay attention to "return to top" buttons, but while reading their section on why displaying such buttons before the end of the article is a bad idea I glanced to the right and noticed a "return to top" button.
A lot of the points in the article are well thought out, and I'm a bit fan of cut content myself but... they're hilariously bad at listening to their own advice.
It may just reflect some explicit or implicit assumptions of the founder who is much more focused on the product itself than on the sales experience or onboarding flow. A good sign, in my opinion, to be honest.
And between giving too much and too little prominence to CTA buttons, I would err on the too much side.
I still need to know...
- on which devices will this work?
- what email hosting / APIs does this support?
- do I like the UI?
- do I like the web site UI and think it'll translate to the app... ?
- does this cost me something, such as a subscription or time clicking through ads?
- will I actually like this UI for my email over what I do now?
At work I currently get 1000-2000 email per day, of which about 500 need personal attention, including calendar invites. This sounds horrendous, and it ain't great, but Outlook is surprisingly adept at rule setting, being really responsive, and integrated with Office (and to a lesser extent Skype, OC was more pleasurable for the from a UX perspective) to make this manageable.
However this trend of using lean and Toyota production system terminology to sell stuff that has no real relationship to it is starting to get tired.
None of these card column systems has any real relationship to the Kanban process outside of the use of cards. The similarities tend to end at a completely superficial level.
Rule #1 of Kanban is that it is a "pull" system. By design e-mail is push. It would also be difficult to limit work-in-progress here, which is another cornerstone feature of a Kanban system.
You can use e-mail as a sort-of pull-based JIT system. You're constantly getting new resources, but you can't necessarily use them all immediately or action them all at once. So you stage the work in planning, and "pull" work into "doing" when you're ready. The lifecycle continues until an item ends up "completed" and archived.
I don't think work-in-progress is all that difficult to manage with e-mail, as your e-mails are basically feature requests or alerts that lead to a story, and once the story is planned and ready for working, you can determine what a suitable work limit is. The author's e-mail model may need a bit of modifying to create actual stories rather than just tracking an e-mail, which may not be enough in itself to begin working on.
They are different processes because Kanban is not the process, it is the mechanism for displaying the work in progress.
I was actually just thinking about this the other day. To rephrase it slightly, an email inbox is essentially an opt-out model. Any person anywhere can put something in your inbox, and after reviewing/getting sufficiently annoyed you can opt-out from receiving their emails (marking them as spam, forwarding to trash, etc.)
Personally I've been interested in seeing how an opt-in inbox model would perform. Every email goes to spam and/or a review bucket, and then once a week (or whenever you feel like it) the user can skim the bucket for emails from people/lists they actually want to see, and approve them. Follow up emails from those address can then go straight to the inbox with out need for review.
This might not work for every use case, but I suspect I'd like this for my personal email use. No matter how many times I unsubscribe from an email list or service, a new one takes its place without me signing up for it. I think I would find significant less frustration being able to opt-in vs opt-out.
Definitely feels like an opt-in experience to me, and far better than previous email solutions I used.
I know ahead of time who I want to be able to reach me immediately. My boss, his boss, my team and my girlfriend. Everyone else can wait.
Mine isn't though.. emails just sit there (on the server or in the mbox) until I 'pull' (handle) them. =)
I think that the push and pull being different are being applied to different things. Work is pulled into the resource that does the work. The push aspect of email is more akin to orders for products, which even in traditional Kanban systems is based on external demand and not production capacity, so also push, in a sense.
But a fairly simple tweak would change the equation: a feature to process emails by converting a message into 0, 1, or multiple actions that would then go through the board. Those actions would include the email for context.
A card board that allows me to stay on top of my duties without a separate email client (and without turning my inbox into my todo list) could be a very nice tool.
Congrats on shipping this!
I use a Kanban (or GTD, depending)-style workflow using Org mode and Gnus. Org mode recognizes `gnus:'-prefixed links. For certain types of mail, I use an Org capture template within Gnus which inserts a TODO item into an Org document, along with a link to the original message (which can be opened in Gnus using C-c C-o).
You can then go through your usual workflow as you would with any other item; mail is just another source of data.
Considering that the task originated via mail, chances are it'll require some back-and-forth, potentially over the course of weeks and perhaps with a handful of people involved. I also keep detailed timestamped logs of correspondence and my actions, linking to important messages as needed. This is particularly useful for large threads, since I highlight the most important information. Since I'm logging via Org mode (and not my MUA), my logs can also include any other additional information and time tracking that has nothing to do with mail, so this creates a useful timeline that combines both actions and correspondence into a single view.
Because this is married with the rest of my Org-based task management, my mail also shows up in my agenda and reporting.
I'm far from a Gnus guru, so perhaps I'm missing something, but why do you prefer Gnus to Notmuch or Mu4e?
IMHO Notmuch has a very clear MUA model. Plus it's extremely fast and simple. Everything is done via tags. Notmuch never ever touches your email. This is the task of a backend, which has to translate tag changes into Mailbox actions. I do this using a few trivial Bash one-liners, which accommodate for Gmail's unusual IMAP implementation.
Mu4e is more similar to Mutt, as it does touch email directly, allowing you to move emails across folders or delete them. I also found the interface a little bit less snappy than Notmuch.
Gnus has some great ideas, but it's quite slow and the internals are a mess. It needs some serious refactoring.
Tbh, I just haven't researched other things and I haven't had the time. But Gnus does seem to fit well how I organize my mail: I subscribe to a lot of mailing lists, each of which are filtered into their own folders via Sieve scripts, before they touch my MUA. I also organize normal mail similarly.
I find Notmuch + mbsync more satisfying because of efficiency and simplicity. It's a serverless setup, config files are small, and it's very quick.
Both Notmuch and Mu4e have good Org integration, so if you want to explore that route it shouldn't be a show-stopper.
I'm not sure whether you'd loose any feature like this, I don't think I did. But perhaps it's much simpler and quicker to switch to Notmuch for Emacs.
I did something like this inside my file manager. Just download all new messages into a directory a couple times a day. Delete the junk. Put email needing to be processed into one directory. Put processed email into a different directory.
The system didn't work at all. Sure, it works great for certain tasks, like responding to "What time will we meet for lunch?" I had to add extra directories to allow archiving messages by project. An email is a piece of reference material. You appear to be constructing a walled garden that makes it hard to do anything with messages once they're inside your service. What do I do with messages that don't need a response but that provide information? How do I view past email related to a project? Hopefully the answer is not "use your regular email client".
Looks good but unless there's more than shown on this page, I don't see it yet being a solution for the people that would be willing to pay for it, if it does nothing more than sort through messages needing a reply.
All this seems to do is break out my inbox/"to do" into "uncategorized" and 3 other "to do" categories. I don't know if totally needed. If someone already has a problem organizing their main inbox, how are they going to stay organized with this kanban flow?
That's exactly right. Processing your email does not mean you reply to every message. It means every task related to every email has been completed and you have access to that information everywhere its needed - even if you forget about it.
A few thoughts/ideas:
- It would be helpful to see more product screenshots/videos of it in action.
- It would also be useful to get more info on how this works and interacts with email services - perhaps easiest to add an FAQ page (this discussion thread should help get some ideas for the questions).
- I echo what some others say - that I don't necessarily know whether this would work for all my emails. I tend to find some emails would suit this process. Therefore, I'd love a Chrome extension into this, where it is a tab added in Gmail. I could process emails and move some to the kanban board for when I'm in 'action things' mode, and they are out of sight when I'm processing emails - sort of a two step process. If you had that I'd sign up to at least try this right now.
Good luck with it!
Next to that I use Todoist for regular task management. Works quite well for me. Made all these additions to email clients like "snooze" redundant.
P.s. key is to have the task management app with proper functionality which is available on your phones email clients as well as you read quite a lot of them there. This is why I chose Todoist as it integrates with my Newton email app which I use for my work mail.
Subscriptions I could get cheaper than $12 a month:
Dollar Shave Club
All of which provide higher value than reorganizing email. I think he should price in relation to other subscription services that exist.
even saving one hour per month with this tool is worth more than 12 usd, to me (compare hourly wage).
i just want a free month to be sure i am not giving out money to a bad product.
* Pricing is hidden.you can only view it when clicking "join" but I do not want to click join until I know that price.
* When I land on the page I see two calls to action ("join" and "login") and no indication of if there is more content. Naturally I'd bounce from the page most of the time.
As a customer, the main advantages of using indie products is that there aren't investors telling the founders that they need to shut down if they don't get millions of users in the next 18 months, or that they need to start selling customer data. And if you're a big enough customer, it means potentially being able to own part of the company. (Since turning a business into a co-op and selling shares to the existing customers is a common exit strategy, but is rarely possible once a company has taken venture capital.)
I get that, but companies exist to get paid. And therefore a successful product will attempt to grow, which often means a change in business processes or pricing. So if I make a product like this indispensable to my workflow or company, I could be faced with a change being forced upon me when they go to scale.
All that to say I'm not 100% it's effective marketing.
Sure, that risk still exists. But with indie products there are essentially three groups of stakeholders (founders, employees, customers) instead of of four (+investors), so that risk is greatly reduced.
In fact for most people (definitely for me) I believe email is a very poor backend for a todo list.
My reasoning is that your email inbox is something that anybody can add items to -- even if those items start out as uncategorized, you still need to decide whether they deserve action or not. And when you receive 100+ emails a day, that's a job in and of itself.
The essence of any prioritization system should be that it helps you focus on the most important things first. And you already know what those things are -- you don't need dozens of people proposing them to you.
My personal system is to sit down every Monday morning, think about the absolute highest impact things I need to accomplish that week, and write them down in an old fashioned paper notebook which I refer back to any time I feel like I'm spinning my wheels.
Fundamentally the value I generate doesn't come from reacting to people all day, it comes from identifying outcomes that truly matter and doing whatever is necessary to advance those outcomes.
There absolutely are jobs where the inbox-as-todo model makes sense: customer service agent and certain kinds of sales rep come immediately to mind.
But I think this model where externals just keep on pushing new tasks onto you is fundamentally not a great tool to help most people generate value. Also not good for mental health.
If you have a boss, a personal assistant, a spouse or kids those are people who should probably be able to reach you immediately and easily. Outside of that I think we should generally start at zero and have to whitelist specific people. In the old days this was accomplished by giving them your phone number.
Amen. I've never written a performance review (or received one) applauding email reaction time. Think about it. The stuff that gets accolades are accomplishing the things that "truly matter."
It's also unclear to me if this is a browser based email client (using imap/smtp etc.) or if it comes with it's own email address and handles final delivery/storage.
I hate the trend of apps following google's lead and putting eons of white space in their apps forcing tons of scrolling to get anything done.
Chrome apparently will be updated sometime soon with a UI that adds two or three horizontal lines of white space above the tab bar, and they will be totally changing the way tabs look in general to make it much harder to differentiate different tabs. I will probably be moving to firefox after that...
I often "hold on" to certain emails for certain reasons. Because I need to reply to them, or read them more, or am waiting on reply. I can see breaking it out into a kanban could be beneficial for that.
I would never use though; because the service will never do what I need from an email client. It'll be more like an email backed trello, and even then I would bet the providers it works with will be gmail and gmail. Even then there are things like PGP, search, exporting, that a good client offers, and then issues with data security and exposing your inbox to a third party who could do anything - from data mining, to theft; with or without intent.
But... as an app? I'd be down. Maybe not $12/mo down... but $4/mo for an email client that's both good and being improved upon would not be a bad deal for me. Maybe do personal/corporate licensing, as companies will have more money to throw at software; which would help with reaching sustainability.
Anyway, great idea and I hope it really can become something. Launching anything is hard, doing it alone even harder. To deliver something that isn't completely nonsense is almost a feat in itself.
I have tried similar tools in the past that convert Gmail into a Kanban board (https://www.sortd.com/ and https://www.dragapp.com) and have not had much success with that method of triaging emails. Perhaps it's a personal failing of my own.
Either way, good luck with it! I'm a screen reader user so would be interested to see how accessible and usable it is from the keyboard alone. That's also why you should read what I've said above in the context of not being able to see your visual design, which might instantly make it clear what it does.
I can see how you could use kanban to do this, but most offices already have dedicated systems for handling their tasks, and honestly, even outlook tasks are better at this than a kanbanboard.
Why would you need multiple lines for an email? And why would you keep you emails on your email account, where no one else can get it, client if it’s important enough to archive?
Best of luck though, maybe there is a usecase I’m not seeing.
People don't subscribe there, they will steal all your emails.
Just use secure email provider like protonmail.com or even better, register your domain, and fetch emails offline to your computer as soon as they arrive.
Don't addicted to "online" storage of your personal data. Do you know those people? You have to be independent.
Who does that server really serve?
And use mutt email software, the best in the world http://www.mutt.org
I'm using gmail exactly like this with the "multiple inbox" experiment.
I'm triaging my mails a couple of times per day and assigning them to the correct inboxes via labels (ctrl+l).
This is an interesting product. I've been using Google Inbox at work for the last ~6mo. I really like the snooze feature that removes an email from your inbox until a set time. I check my Inbox every few hours and try to keep it squeaky clean by snoozing emails until I plan to attack them. When something's snoozed over and over due to procrastination / poor time management, you really feel it.
How does everyone else manage their email? I don't get that many emails, probably < 10/day.
Every once in a while I try to clear out "sections" of time such as the current day, week or month by either responding or by performing the requested task - hoping that one day I'll get my unread count down to zero. ;-)
Is there an app that can read all the email and then store metadata back into each thread ? Can this app 'tee' my data somewhere else without me knowing?
I guess a lot of people are not excited to give anyone else access to their email.
I've created a hotkey for my email client so any email that may require an action can easily be added to the Inbox list on my GTD Trello board.
It works really well as long as I am maintaining it.
Email-based task systems tend toward clutter, but if you have some way to deal with that onslaught, this could be really useful
I'd recommend explaining how the service integrates with people's emails, before asking them to hand over any details. That's the only thing that would stop me from giving it a go.
1.) Add a quick 30 second or 1 minute demo video
2.) Pricing should be a visible (in the header) and a dedicated page
3.) Pricing of $12/mo seems high. I'd recommend something like $4.99/mo early adopter pricing. Then if demand, increase.
4.) How it works. Show technology and how you don't store sensitive e-mail details like subject and body.
Get off your high horse and write positive criticism / offer help / suggest improvements or just stfu.
Interesting that you did exactly zero of the things you suggest (and used a throwaway knowing you'd be downvoted.)
I don’t know what posts they were talking about though. I came late to this conversation and voting moved the interesting posts up already.
TL;DR Blunt, honest feedback != toxicity
Did anyone try it? To me it seems like emails are long, have images and attachments and are part of a conversation. The home page just shows almost tweet like emails in those boxes, without pics or attachments or threading.