December 20th, 2014

WebMail Interface Revisions II

Welcome to the next installment in LuxSci’s iterative improvement of its WebMail user interface. In addition to some minor bug fixes, this update focuses on interacting with the WebMail message list and message view areas.

It is a very personal preference if you like:

  • To display both your list of messages and a view of individual messages at the same time, or
  • To toggle quickly back and forth between your message list and your message view (e.g. like Gmail does), or
  • To open all new messages in new windows

Message View – List View Updates

LuxSci has supported all of these options for a very long time.  With this interface update we have simplified this process and the user interface elements involved with it.

  1. Quick View Mode Toggle
    1.  When viewing both the message list and message view areas, you can now press the icon  (located in your message navigation bar) to instantly maximize the list view and hide the message view (at least until you click on a message)
    2. When not displaying both view areas at once, you can click on the icon  or  (located in the same place) to immediately switch back to showing both.
    3. When viewing an email message with the message list hidden, you can now click on “ Return to Message List” (or press the “Escape” key) to switch back to viewing only the message list.
    4. We have removed the old “Tab bar” that used to be used for switching between modes.  The new methods are more versatile, quicker, and take up much less screen space.
  2. New preferences for when the message view area is hidden.
    1. When you click on a message (in a way that does not trigger an action such as “delete” or “flag”), the message is selected and you are switched to the message view.  If you want to select multiple messages, you need to click on the check boxes or always use “control-click”.  If behavior is not ideal for you, you can change your Settings so that clicking on a message only selects it and does not switch your view away from the message list.
    2. When you double click on a message, it is opened in a new window.  This behavior can be adjusted in your settings so that double clicking selects the message and switches you to the message view.
    3. Using these preferences, you can customize WebMail to match your ideal workflow.

Email Message List Interaction Updates

LuxSci WebMail has also been updated to make common interactions with email messages in your message list quicker and simpler.

For a long time now, you have been able to click on the “Flag” and “Message Read” column in the message list to toggle the flagged/unflagged and read/unread status of a message with 1 click.  E.g. instead of selecting the message and going to the menus to choose the commands that change these statuses.

If you don’t have the Flag or Message Read columns, or you want to see what columns you can inclue, click on the icon  at the right of the message list headers.  This will bring up a dialog where you can choose the columns you would like to display.  Also, you can re-arrange and change the sizes of these columns by dragging and dropping them.

So, in addition to making it visually more obvious that you can click on these areas to toggle your message status when you mouse over a message, we have added two new message interaction tools.  Then when you mouse over a message, you will see 2 icons to the left of the message subject:

  1. Delete / Undelete.  Click on the delete icon  to delete a message with 1 click.  Click on the undelete icon to undelete a deleted message with 1 click.
  2. Forward / Reply.  Click on the icon  to bring up a short menu where you can choose to forward, reply, reply all, or forward the message as an attachment.

 New Expunge Button

For those of you who have your email settings configured so that when you delete a message, it is merely “marked for deletion” instead of immediately removed from you folder, we have added a new optional “Toolbar Command”.  You can now edit your Settings to add the “Remove Deleted Messages” command to your toolbar so that you can get rid of all of these deleted messages with one mouse click.

Previously you could do the same thing using the Folder properties menu or by right clicking on your folder to get additional folders commands or using the keyboard shortcut “Shift + E”.  This toolbar option brings this common operation down to just 1 click.

To edit your settings, please visit this link.  You may want to click on “Show Advanced Options,” once you are there, to see all available settings.

The Next Step?

In January, we will be updating the WebMail toolbar, submenus, search and message navigation to greatly simplify the interface and to save space without losing any actual functionality.

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