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Postbox 2.5 - Message View Redesign

May 11, 2011

One of the design goals for Postbox 2.5 is to simplify its look and feel.  So we redesigned Postbox’s message and conversation views to minimize the number of interface elements, and to reduce movement of these elements, as you page from message-to-message or from messages-to-conversations.

In Postbox 2.1.4, all message header elements are contained within a single envelope region, as displayed below:

Postbox 2.1.4 Single Message Header

The downside to this approach is that the envelope will resize whenever someone is Cc’d, causing the message content to jump vertically as you page from message-to-message. This design also includes a dedicated Topics row (even when no Topics are present), and it doesn’t make efficient use of horizontal space, which is particularly important for Vertical View.

When moving from a single message to a conversation, the envelope resizes to accomodate a single participants row, and the date field jumps from the envelope to the message row, which can cause the interface to feel “jittery.”

Postbox 2.1.4 Conversation Header

In Postbox 2.5, we’ve simplified the display by separating elements that pertain to both single messages and conversations (such as subject, topics, and actions) from elements that are unique to each message:

Postbox 2.5 Single Message Header

This design creates a region where elements stay fixed as you transition from message to message, while minimizing the number of elements that move within the interface:

Postbox 2.5 Static Region

This design also keeps elements aligned as you move between single messages and conversations:

Postbox 2.5 Element Positioning

Notifications such as the Remote Images Notification will now display just above the message content, which keeps message headers from being pushed out of place:

Postbox 2.5 Remote Images Notification

One final benefit to this redesign is that the message headers will now scroll with the message content, enabling you to view more message content at one time.

These improvements create an email experience that feels fast, solid, predictable, and more usable. We know you’re going to love these changes once they’re released!

Postbox 2.5 is coming this summer, and it will be a free update for all Postbox 2 users. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest Postbox 2.5 news.

More on Postbox 2.5:
Vertical View
Unread Bubbles
New Addressing Widget

Posted by Sherman Dickman