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Persona - A concept email client (personamail.info)
162 points by basil on July 14, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 116 comments

I shall now deploy my catch phrase: Shut Up and Ship! (http://blog.jgc.org/2010/08/shut-up-and-ship.html) which I probably stole from Zawodny.

The concept video is very annoying because of the 'arty' way it's been filmed. They have shown three ideas: sort mail by sender, sort by conversation and show me all attachments. So far, so good. What they haven't mentioned is any form of search functionality or foldering. Looking at my inbox right now I see a set of separate conversations from different people about the same topic (in this case, OSCON). What you want to get on top of email is automatic foldering (pet topic) so that you get an intelligent view of your email.

What's shown in the video seems to be pretty basic wrapped up in a flowery dress to make it look like something amazing. I can believe that people would appreciate clean email interfaces, but this seems like it doesn't take into account real world stuff like figuring out who's cc:ed on a message or what the subject line is, or what happens when an exchange of messages stops being between two people and starts being between three or more.

Which is to say, it does not match your style of interacting with email. Many Gmail users out there (Facebook mail, even?) are using email very differently and programs like this (Sparrow, Lion Mail) are catering for them.

Personally, I don't ever use folders. I've been there, and I'm glad I got it over with. I have no use whatsoever for Outlook-like complexity and complex rule sets. And please don't think that this is just because I don't deal with email a lot. But there are different kinds of people who use email in different ways. To each his own.

What is the best material you've read on why folders in email are inefficient? Do you have a blog post, paper, &c. that would be good reading on this subject?

My initial inspiration came from [Nick Cernis' take on Inbox Zero](http://modernerd.com/post/348119427/inbox-heaven). The article is a bit dated by now, but the gist is:

There are only three kinds of messages: messages I have to act on, messages I want to keep and the rest.

The first, I flag and archive, the second, I archive, the third, I delete. The list of flagged messages then becomes my todo-list. If I ever need to go back to some discussion I did not flag, I rely on search. This really only works if threads are collated into conversations. Contrary to the original article though, this feature is not exclusive to Gmail any more, so that particular advice can be ignored.

I believe that this is one implementation of 'inbox zero', for which you should find plenty of stuff on the 'net (43Folders and Merlin Mann should be great starting points).

That said, I never claimed that folders are inefficient for email. I just said that my system did not involve any. That said, there are a lot of people who will say that a good searching mechanism is more convenient than a complex folder structure. (And conversely, that you only need folders if your search sucks. Search has gotten a lot better in the last few years.)

One might argue that the whole point of our brain is to recognize patterns. Therefore, we are very very good at grasping the context an email message belongs to. Maybe we don't actually need folders to signify context externally. Also, tagging seems to be a more natural way of providing context than folders, for the simple fact that messages might belong to different contexts simultaneously. Still, the only context I need in an email app is whether something is actionable or not. Everything else is just noise.

This is similar to the way I use gmail: everything that I need to act on is kept on inbox. Everything else is either archived (I might need), or deleted. This way, I never have to look for mail inside folders. If I need something, I just search it.

I recently activated the multiple inbox feature in Google Labs. I have two inboxes showing now - the default one and starred email. Since the space is free I just archive everything and rely on stars to note email that I need to either act on or contains some info I need to finish a feature.

Personally, I use tags more as a visual aid when sorting, and as metadata for searching (I have plenty of messages about the same subject with no common words between them).

The argument is simple: Folders are hierarchical, while tags are for faceted search. It's search vs. sort at its core.

There is a lot out there regarding this topic. The latest paper by Whittaker et. al. should be interesting for you: "Am I wasting my time organizing email? A study of email refinding" http://people.ucsc.edu/~swhittak/papers/chi2011_refinding_em...

Also interesting on this topic are these papers:

* Better to organize personal information by folders or by tags?: The devil is in the details

* Don't take my folders away!: organizing personal information to get things done

* Keystroke Level Analysis of Email Message Organization

nice paper, thanks for sharing the link

I prefer tags over folders because I have have multiple tags per e-mail. I find this better because, sometimes, e-mail can pertain to a few different things.

And speaking personally, the one feature that I would love to see would be a way of attaching personal notes to an e-mail without actually altering the e-mail itself. I'm sure someone, somewhere, has implemented this but I have yet to personally see it.

> about the same topic (in this case, OSCON).

OT: I wonder if there's enough HN people at OSCON to have a get-together/BoF of some sort? I'm up there for the week workshopping/presenting about Arduino & Android fun...

I don't normally mind artsy but this is ridiculous. The video is zoomed, focused, and tilted to excess. Am I supposed to get a meaningful impression of it that way?

I was at a bar with a friend the other night, and he took a picture using a flash. I took one by holding very still so I could take a longer exposure without the flash. His image accurately recorded the scene in detail. Mine recorded the feel.

I think you're supposed to get an emotional impression, instead of an explicit idea of how the software works.

My emotional impression was that I couldn't see the bloody software. It was more like a wedding movie for the MacBooks than a product presentation.

Yeah, someone's been watching way too many Google product videos and decided to turn it up to 11.

For a concept based on "a critical analysis of how people manage their emails and use their email clients" it contains an awful lot of design flaws.

The general workflow is pretty cool; different view modes, conversations etc. but then I see how the mother writes an email in the video (between 0:35 and 0:55) and I am surprised she can figure anything out.

The email pane is an intimidating white modal window, that does not give any visual cues as to what you can do with it. How can I drag it? Can I type anywhere? How do I send or dismiss it? To whom will it be sent?

Apparently messages have a subject (at least they are still email), but this is implicit. Having taught some older people how to use email, I know they struggle a lot with the concept of having a subject and they often confuse message and subject. With this subject, I am pretty sure the average "mom" will end up sending every message with the subject "Dear David" or something like that.

The sequence is concluded by the woman sending the email (around 0:53). She moves the mouse to the bottom of the message and all of a sudden a fucking tool bar pops up out of nowhere. There is no indication that that thing was even there, so how is anyone going to know that was there to begin with?

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot that can be improved about the way we interact with email, and there are a lot of things in this concept that I really like (for example the contact-list on the left, allowing you to drop a photo on a person's face to send it to them), but they introduce new flaws that are unacceptable. The footer of the page says the authors are from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, so I would have expected that rather than spending a lot of time on creating a sexy video (mission accomplished) they had put their concept to the test with some actual users. No doubt these flaws would have come to light immediately.

They are advancing the concept of 'conversations' that Gmail introduced in an interesting direction. Basically, the second tab at the top is the Gmail conversation view. This view collects emails by topic, which makes it behave more like a threaded discussion board in a way.

The interesting part is the first tab though, the 'people' view. They seem to go for an IM-style persistent conversation log between a fixed set of people. That is quite an interesting way of looking at conversations, pushing email further from the original 'digital letter' towards shorter, more transient messages. Basically, it tries to make email behave more like a persistent IM chat.

I find it interesting how the email protocol gets pushed more and more in the background and applications implement their own interfaces on top of it. Email seems to evolve from the definite way of sending stuff over the internet towards just one other communication protocol that is more or less on equal footing with, say, Jabber, or Facebook, or maybe even Twitter.

What with Facebook integrating email into its site and Google dumping IM chat logs in your Gmail inbox, there is even some sort of cross-protocol talk. This gets even more obvious with Facebook or Google+ or Twitter sending you emails whenever you receive messages on their platform. Now if you could reply to these emails and the platform would 'do the right thing', this would actually implement email as a ubiquitous interface to all of these services.

Interesting times!

The concept screenshots have been designed using data that displays well in an IM-style conversation log, but how would it work for traditionally formatted email (e.g. Dear, regards, long signature, messy disclaimer, quoted text, html newsletters)? That is where the sender has one idea of how email should look like, and the receiver has another?

I would guess that just like in Gmail, quoted texts get collapsed, signatures get faded. Basically, Gmail works, too, so this is probably a solved problem.

And personally, I think the world would be a better place without disclaimers anyway, so they might as well delete them outright. But maybe that is just me.

Gmail did not introduce 'conversations'. Threaded email clients have been around since forever.

True, threading precedes conversations. But threading is not the same thing as Gmail-style conversations.

If you have a two messages that belong to one thread but that you put in two different folders, a thread-aware email client will still only show one message when you view it.

In a conversion-based email program however, there exists no such thing as an individual message. There are only whole conversations. When you view a 'single message', you always see the whole conversation regardless of the 'folder' it resides in. Basically, it always collects all the messages that belong to a thread even if you look at one single lonely message sitting in your inbox.

Persona seems to go a step further and not only collect threads into conversations, but also collect all conversations between a set of people into people-streams.

Okay. I understand what you meant now. I see this mostly as a consequence of tagging: since all the messages are in the same store, it makes sense to get messages from the same thread no matter the choice of tags you're viewing. I think it's true that Gmail was the first to do that.

[By the way, people are still busy porting these features back to native clients for power users. See http://sup.rubyforge.org/ and http://notmuchmail.org/.]

Shame all the innovation in email clients seems to be happening predominantly on the Mac. Havent seen any Windows versions of any of these kind of apps.

I wonder if we'll ever see an iPad version of anything like this, because i'd certainly be interested. On a side note, this further cements the idea that its still worthwhile to disrupt boring or old markets if they havent had disruption for a long time.

Maybe this is because Windows is still predominantly a business market (except for games), where feature lists are more important than elegance or simplicity. Hence Outlook and its kin.

Perhaps. I dont really know either way, but its still a shame. If Windows 8 delivers on its HTML5/JS native experience promise, then that could change a lot of things in the future, since many developers could develop for the desktop and web platform simultaneously - Although knowing Microsoft maybe thats a little too ambitious.

Agreed! I would love to see more great, elegant Windows software. But for whatever reason, I can't find a lot of it. Really, the old saying that you use Windows instead of OSX because there is more software available for it is getting less true every year. At least in the consumer space.

It's because you can't just build this and expect large organizations to just use this even if they wanted. There's tons of things like compliance, certifications, internationalization support, accessibility features. You can't launch a "simple" barebones product.

Not to mention many companies for legal reasons have to host their content internally.

These concerns alone - not withstanding the long sales cycles of corporate sales turns off many startups.

That explains the shape of corporate software. It does not explain the lack of consumer software, though.

Kin? There's just outlook these days.

Isn't there, like, Eudora and some Oracle stuff, and several other corporate content management blobs that do complex email management, too?

Pegasus Mail (http://www.pmail.com) is still going strong, slowly trudging towards the 5.0 release. Though there were a few hiccups related to the financial viability a couple of years ago, development is still going on and the product is still free.

Lotus Notes. It will never die.

I'm working on a cross-platform desktop email client with some interesting features as well. It works on Windows, Linux, and Mac. I'm hoping to release a beta in a few weeks :)

1) Build it. Concept videos are nice and all, but its vaporware till people can use it.

2) I think most people these days have switched to webmail in one form or another. Build this as a web app, not a strict desktop client. Also, as a web app its relatively easy these days to wrap it in a framework that will present it as a desktop app if someone wants to use it that way.

2) I think most people these days have switched to webmail in one form or another

If you're interested in stats, Campaign Monitor posts a monthly report on email client popularity: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/stats/email-clients/

Also note the Movers and Shakers stats at the bottom.

There sure is a lot written about gmail, relative to its market share. apparently hotmail and yahoo mail are both more popular.

Note the fine print:

The email client a person is using can only be detected if images are displayed. This can give an inflated weighting to email clients that display images by default, such as Outlook 2000 and the iPhone. It will also provide a lesser weighting to those that block images by default such as Gmail and Outlook 2007. Those email clients that aren't capable of displaying images, such as older Blackberry models and other mobile devices cannot be included in this study.

I've found tonnes of flaws in email clients where they fetch remote content even when they're configured not to, or the "Fetch Images" button hasn't been pressed.

An interesting tit bit of information: The basic (non IE) version of Outlook Web Access for Exchange 2007 blocks <img src="blah"> by default, but it actually fetches <input type="image" src="blah">

I've found a couple of similar issues in iOS and Apple Mail in the past which have now been fixed. Even if you disabled loading remote images by default, it would still fetch the contents of <audio> and <video> tags. This was fixed after I reported it. Then later, it started performing DNS prefetches before clicking "Load Images" if you included a tag like this: <link rel="dns-prefetch" href="http://blah/>;

Thunderbird had the dns prefetching flaw too. I reported that one and it was fixed.

Android had multiple problems last time I checked. It would even honour meta refresh tags and bounce you off to the web browser automatically, just from opening an email. Scary. I might give that another test soon.

I found similar flaws in Roundcube and OpenWebmail which were subsequently fixed after I reported them.

I built an automated testing tool a while ago which sends a specially crafted email to an address of your choice which includes lots of tricks to try and get your email client to call back to my server. You can check it out here:


I haven't found any issues with the gmail, hotmail or yahoo web interfaces, so there's no point testing those clients using my interface.

Gmail used to display SVG attachments which contained JavaScript, letting an email sender completely take over your email client. Someone else reported that and they fixed it.

They also don't share the methodology--for example, Entourage 2008+ and Outlook for Mac both use WebKit and all HTTP requests from them don't identify them as a client. Not sure if they are lumping that under Apple Mail or not accounting for it.

Email is the original locked-in platform (can't take your email address with you when you leave), and there is less and less incentive to switch now that so many people are reading their email on phone clients where every service looks the same.

I don't think calling email "locked-in" is fair.

If you're using someone elses domain for your email, then you're locked in to using whatever service they choose to assign their domain to yes.

If you have your own domain, then you can take your email wherever you want.

If Ries and Trout ever publish a new edition of Positioning they should make this a case study. Moving email addresses is very painful for a lot of people, so no matter how much buzz Gmail gets in the tech community, there's still the built-in inertia to switching clients.

From the site: "Each time a subscriber opens an email sent with Campaign Monitor, we keep track of which email client they're using"

Maybe hotmail and yahoo users are more likely to open borderline spam whereas gmail users like to use email as more of a tool to get things done? Be sure to always read between the line before making strong inferences from pretty pie charts.

Thanks for the link. Its surprising to see that client email is actually so large!

Surprising, really? Two examples: Outlook has been around for awhile and will continue to do so. The other example, Sparrow is just a few months (?) old and is quite popular.

That's a nice resource. Thanks!

I think most people these days have switched to webmail in one form or another. Build this as a web app, not a strict desktop client.

The demo has it running on OSX. OSX users are more open to the idea of having (and paying for) a desktop application. From a business perspective, an OSX desktop application might make sense.

Seems like the concept of providing more "human" or "natural" interaction between user and computer is becoming more and more pervasive, and Persona is just another example about that.

I don't know what to think about it. As a casual user, I like it. It make interaction with the computer effortless. On the other side, as a power user, I still like to Unix philosophy of small powerfull tools and an easy ways to combine and automate them.

I really hope someone will eventually find a way to mix both of those concepts and bring software to the next level.

I really don't want to use desktop software anymore. Am I the only one that feels this way?

No, I like native widgets, predictable shortcuts, and easy off-line use. Also, desktop software is easily manageable via Exposé/Mission Control.

Also, I don't like the fact that webmail providers such as GMail cannot only track my e-mail, but also my reading/browsing behavior.

just to play devils advocate

predictable shortcuts are like bookmarks, easily manageable (tabs expose for chrome) - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ackpfhlmgjdjlohhjm... your ISP is tracking, cookies are tracking, or basically its more of a hassle to minimize all tracking than to stop thinking about it.

Either way in the end it is about preference

No, you seem to be with the majority. But I really don't want to use web software any more. I might be the only one, but hopefully not.

You're not the only one. I don't really like web applications too. It is irrational of me, but I really feel better about desktop, on-line software. I think I don't really trust "the Internet" and "the Cloud", and would like my computer to be usable even after the whole networking infrastructure burns down.

Agree, I'll take a good desktop app over a webapp any day. Webapps disappear frequently, aren't as quick and most importantly you put your data in the hands of a 3rd party which can work against you.

I tend to feel the same way, but you have to ask: Which is more likely to burn down, the whole networking infrastructure or my house?

Perhaps the OP was using hyperbole: it does seem more likely for reliance on external infrastructure to be disrupted by something beyond your control than for your own tools to stop functioning in a way that you can't correct.

There are also other effects of externalizing your tools that don't relate to continuity of uptime: levels of complexity, adaptability, security, and manageability of change all have different values for web-based and desktop software.

Yes, you have. That's why I said it's a bit irrational for me. I can't shake off the feeling that the whole Internet will go down one day, even though it's more likely that a car will hit me twice before.

Maybe it's because I'm looking for solutions that will last for long years, not the apps that I have to change every three or so months. I guess this is not possible nowdays.

You can keep the master copy at home but do (encrypted) backups on the cloud. I find it much more reassuring than the other way round (put everything in the cloud, maybe backup locally every now and then).

One thing doesn't prevent the other: I use Gmail, but I also keep offlineimap as a cronjob to download backup it all, and Thunderbird installed.

Web apps have their advantages but their integration into the desktop, responsiveness etc. is lacking far behind desktop applications.

Browsers fail horribly at providing a desktop alternative.

And oddly none of the new browsers has the balls to tackle this problem, they're all about web standards which are very cumbersome for building business apps. MS obviously don't want to tackle it as they want desktops to last as long as possible.

The obsession with a web page as a document is the part that needs to be addressed.

Firefox's long lacking support for something as simple as overflow:ellipsis is one of the examples of the anti app ethos of browsers. You don't need it much on web pages, but it's pretty essential in business apps as you've got to present a lot of data but need to show it compactly. And it's essential to indicate there's more text to a comment or email.

That and the terrible support for non-fixed layout.

You may be pleased to know that text-overflow: ellipsis is supported in Firefox 7 (in the Aurora channel now, release later this year). At that point it will finally be supported in all modern browsers!

Maybe we are not so much headed towards a sharp divide between desktop software and the web, but instead will see more seamless integration between the two.

You (well, some of you) are already using Gmail seamlessly as a web app, on your laptop, your mobile phone and your tablet. Each with their own unique interface, but each with the same metaphors. Same with Twitter, Facebook and a slew of other services.

I think the definition of what constitutes an 'app' is blurring. Web-apps, in-browser Chrome apps, browser add-ons, native apps, site-specific browsers, web-content inside native apps, native content inside web apps, the Chrome book, all of that has some app-ness… Some web apps don't need an internet connection any more. Some native apps are completely dependent on an internet connection. Which of these is the web app, then? It is really only that some apps are executed within the context of a browser and some are not. That says little about their web-awareness, though.

In the strictest sense, a web-app is an app that runs "in any browser", accessible through a URL; a native app one that runs "in a specific operating system".

Requiring Internet access or not has nothing to do with it.

For example, an OS X native app wouldn't run in Linux (at least as easily as a Linux native app would). A web app would.

I agree. I only use desktop email to ensure that I have a copy saved locally.

For the workgroup that I support, I give them Mailplane for Google Apps. I find that some users just can't get past the idea of having a "shortcut" on their desktop, even when on a Mac.

Where is the analysis of how people already use email and how it fails? How is this going to improve the experience?

There are a ton of research areas for email/messaging, such as those below. This seems to address none of them.

- better searching

- multiple sources (email, SMS, RSS, twitter .. in one place)

- automatic classification of incoming email, flagging important items, separating personal and business etc

- integrating to-do lists

I am working on a web-based email client (https://ronomon.com) with offline access, instant boot, constant time search, and support for roughly four million emails. It takes some new approaches to threading, meta-discussions, multiple sources, attachments, and simple non-structured text to-do lists, and re-imagines the email client as a multiplayer rather than single-player tool. Could I let you know when it's ready?

Please let me know when this is ready. My contact details are in my profile. I love trying to break stuff like this, and I've managed to break lots of webmail and email clients in the past.

Thanks Mike, challenge accepted.

It looks to me like it's going to improve the experience by making the experience more like facebook's messaging app. Most of my friends send messages via facebook rather than through email, because it's a better and more personal experience. Taking some of that experience to an email client is a killer idea.

Why do email clients have to take their cues from other email clients? They feel stuck in the 90s. Many people have replaced email with facebook for personal use—it only makes sense that email clients should go there.

Funny, all of that is in Gmail. (if you count IM/Buzz/G+ integration as part of 'multiple sources')

While I think that the video would use a change in voice-over (something more clear and more emotional), there was something touching that moved me near the end and made me think about people and simple, day-to-day life. Maybe it's the sountrack. Anyway, well done :).

The soundtrack is "Ágætis Byrjun" by Sigur Rós-- I'm not sure how they'd feel about their stuff being used in a commercial setting.

Apparently not necessarily well: http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/media/homage-or-fromage.php

They might be wise to change the music.

Yeah, and the vocals compete with the narrative, so they might want to change it regardless.

Their homepage is all image, no substance.

I'm guessing their product is the same.

I like what he is saying and what they are showing, but email and particularly this type of email client will be all about the small touches. I just can't get a sense for something like this until I feel it for myself.

I think a lot about this since email clients still seem like something done by a developer without wasting much time thinking about the user experience. For instance, I'd say most personal email conversations are between only two people and yet we still can't see it as the usual chat view which is much more easier to read, like shown on the video and the screenshots.

Please do it and keep improving it as there's a lot of potencial here. Good work!

Sigur Ros for the soundtrack? Nicely done!

it's about time new views were tossed around about email.

Every email client I've used looks like a clone from Netscape Communicator.

So true. I'm surprised at the level of indignation in the comments here. I think there's room to make email better for different groups of users and I think this might be a good start.

So... they've turned email into Facebook? Is that the idea? :P

I think it's a great idea. Don't most people you know use facebook instead of email for personal correspondence?


For one i loathe Facebook's interface. But by and large nearly all of my communication is by instant messenger, skype, email, phone, or some combination of the above.

And I basically live online since i work in a distributed team.

That's cool. I use many different means to communicate too, mostly for work.

But my friends and family members? For personal messages, like stuff that really matters, they send messages on facebook. My brothers, my sister, my mom, my dad—I can't remember the last time any of them emailed me anything. Maybe a travel itinerary. It could be that my experience, or the experience of my friends/family, is atypical, but I think there are a lot of people—tens or hundreds of millions—who use facebook that way, as their primary communication tool.

Finally a client that merges / blurs the line between my email conversations and my IM conversations. I like to have a Skype open as a continuous conversation with people, like a link dump or easy way to share files. This seems to do the same for email. Great.

Auto playing the video is a complete turn-off for me.

Aside question: Can anyone elaborate a little bit on the camera, lenses, and graphical effects used to produce the blur/focus effect in this video?

I don't know how they did it, but it could have been easily done with a DSLR with video capabilities and a decent fast lens. Note that the camera was mostly static, except for example when doing minute panning movements (not too smooth, so probably they didn't have the right type tripod head) towards the right and shifting focus so as to put the viewer's attention on the different icons.

I didn't spot any panning at all - just how abruptly focus had changed. However, there were quite a few jumps where panning would have been more appropriate (imo). One trick to getting smooth pans with a cheap tripod is to use a rubber band around the handle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj6fMcJ18aA

Ah, thanks. So most if not all the smarts were in the camera, not in the post-shooting graphic polish?

Simulated Depth of Field on flat surfaces like this can easily be made in post production using After Effects for example. Here is an old tutorial I found http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/2d_depth_of_field/

You could probably add even more flair by using a 3d camera in AE with DOF enabled, I've done this before and it can look really slick if used well.

Attachment view is one innovation that stands out, abstracting attachments from emails to allow independent file-system like browsing of them would be great.

This client might be a little late to the party in terms of clean UI as something new, what with Mail 5 coming out soon, Sparrow (assuming your a desktop mail kind of person).

On a side note, that whole webpage as an image is making my skin crawl.

The "minimalistic" email compose window will baffle and annoy anyone not in the "focus mode" Lifehack community. It does not look user friendly at all. To my knowledge, writing email in a window with a subject field and a send button was not causing anyone friction. I don't think the world is ready or looking for windows with unlabeled fields and hidden buttons.

I used NEO from Caelo (nelsons email organiser) for five years+ [[ employer INSISTED on using freakin' Msft and Outlook ]]. NEO is an overlay (non-invasive) on top of Outlook that does all this and more - free text search etc. NEO saved me an hour a week at least. [[ No personal relationship with Caelo I just think NEO is awesome. ]]

It is weird how replying on the conversations tab makes the user write the reply above the original message.

Looks cool and polished. Email client space is heating up, I wonder how this will fare against sparrow.

By the way, does anyone know how the DOF effect in the video is achieved? Guess it was added during post processing in software.

I'm guessing it was filmed with a Digital SLR with a high aperture lens, something like a 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 (doesn't look shallow enough for a 1.2).

Agree, looks about 1.4 fully-open.

Indeed, more competition is good. Apple has finally spiced up Mail.app to have a conversation view, and far better filtering.

Did you try mail.zoho.com, The conversation view they have is interesting.

definitely interesting the distraction free sending email dialog!

I must be one of the only people out there who thinks that the experience of sending/receiving emails in Gmail and/or Outlook is just fine today, thanks.

A person could (easily?) build this using context.io (http://context.io)

Turn this into a web interface, allow some emails to be retrieved by the public, and you've got another facebook clone!

So, is this merely a design fiction, or are there plans for this to actually exist and be available somewhere?

Sorry, I fell asleep somewhere about 10 seconds into the video when the dreary voice and dreamy music started

I couldn't really tell much about it with all the images being shown from a side perspective.

Interesting demo video. We've actually built something along those lines: www.post.fm

Why isn't this being developed? The design looks great, but like many are saying...a concept is only the halfway point. The video sold me, but it'd be nice if I could at least sign up for a beta invite or something. Seeing "concept" all over the page left me a bit hopeless of ever using the product.

Is this being developed?

I think that there are some original and interesting ideas in there.

autoplay? :(

I'd love to see the results of an A/B test to see how people respond to autoplaying videos. Seems like a big turn-off.

WHAT IS THAT MUSIC? :( I just stuck a fork in my ear!! Thanks man. Or, in other words, if you make a video, don't distract people by giving them suicide feelings!

i think this is intended to be, and will always remain, vaporware.

or perhaps i misunderstand what is meant by "concept".

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