Speak for yourself. My primary use case is to send and receive messages with others. If a message includes things to be done, I'll put them in a TODO list, like I'd do with any other messaging protocol.
The reason why reinventing email always fails is because email isn't broken.
That's why we keep hearing how painful email is from people like PG (someone clearly in the manager schedule) but a lot of makers don't really appreciate the pain
I think the whole 'email is broken' thing should be phrased differently. I agree there is tons of pain. Maybe articulating it well IS the solution?
So I wonder what you guys think. What is the real problem? Who has this problem?
(I post this because it took me two searches before I retrieved the URL).
I think the reason why reinventing email always fails is that it is generally skin deep.
If email is not a todo list, then how/why do tasks even get in there in the first place such that you need to move them out of there?
An email that says "can you pick up some eggs on the way home?" is someone putting "pick up eggs" on your todo list via email. To me, it seems clear that for at least a few people email is a todo system. It's probably so for more people than we imagine.
That simplicity is what makes it so compelling: you can twist email to be whatever you want. Some use it as a to-do list, some as a calendar, some for editing documents, some just for messaging. Everyone can use it in a different way because it's so simple and easy to understand.
One can certainly invent products that try to take one aspect of email and improve them, like a to-do list, but then it's not email anymore... it's a to-do/calendar app. Which isn't bad, but the point is--email isn't going anywhere.
The trifecta of buzzwords perhaps.
But he certainly knows how to get the tools that he wants made for him.
Which, isn't a bad thing, but not exactly bringing anything new to the table...
I'm thinking of taking a stab at this idea too.
I still think this is one aspect of Facebook that is often overlooked; they make it incredibly easy to contact people you know. Email addresses are a nightmare to the average user by comparison.
For me, that's the beginning of where the revolution will lie.
The bigger challenge is that e-mail as a to-do list differs from a calendar in that the time and place of the to-do's is a bit more nebulous. For example, if you send someone an email with a link to your page and request feedback, you have a certain but inexact timeframe in mind. The secret to making this work is providing a heuristic ordering based on the sender's desires and the recipients priorities. The former can likely be specified with a few request classes or duration options. The latter would likely have to be learned from usage history, possibly with a VIP list used as a starting point.
One thing I would note is that Paul Graham is probably not a good data point. Most email users actually do use it as a messaging protocol but there is definitely a niche of users (such as Paul) who encounter this to do list effect.
Maybe target them specifically, premium prices ect. But the assumption about what email is for needs to be validated.
Good luck guys.
Instead of trying to re-invent what email is, just make it easier to do what people use it for. Make it smart and intuitive. The problem I have with all of these designer showcases is that how it functions is ultimately more important than how it looks. Neither this nor Mail.app showed any functionality that wasn't available in some way or another from any other client I've used.
As someone aptly mentioned though, the problem is you are just redesigning the email inbox and giving it some quick reply buttons (ala the Gmail canned responses).
I suggest you take a look at AOL's Alto for an example of something that is trying to tackle something similar largely through UX design.
All that being said, the design is cool. And you have a kickass domain name.
What was it called? AOL built some sort of new email based client system? If anybody can share a link I'd be very grateful.
Edit: Found it, it's called Alto.
Check it out: http://www.highsnobiety.com/2012/10/21/aol-reinvents-email-u...
Just my 0.02 - I do like ur UI stuff btw :)
"I get about 400 to 500 e-mails a day, and I probably send about 120. At any given moment, I'll have only 10 items in my inbox. When an e-mail comes in, I read it and decide immediately: Delete, reply, or delegate?"
that's ridiculous. I would expect more from someone who likely remembers uucp and what/how email was designed for.
It seems to somehow organize my emails as tasks, but how does that work in practice?
What happens when I get an email? Does it turn it into a task? Can other people still interact as usual with me by email without using this software? What about emails that really are not todo items?
Messaging differs in one or more of these. Phone calls have lower latency (unless you don't answer) but higher fidelity - you can go back and forth in seconds.
Just like there's a gadget every $50 between a simple phone and a laptop, there's a communications tool from snail mail to phone call/voip filling every ecological niche.
So yes, I believe you can reinvent something that's the size and shape of email, including its latency and permanence but maybe with better fidelity or authenticity or whatnot.