Friday, 20 September 2013

DISCOVERY: Previous/Existing Solutions

Previous/Existing Solutions

Alto: an option to have certain types of messages bypass the inbox altogether, instead sending them right to a stack for periodic checking - you end up with the things that really matter in your inbox.

More aggregation options and linked accounts = more complicated organisation needed

Users must manually be able to organise to feel in control

Email is: a searchable archive, a managers accountability source, a document courier

Email is used for: exchanging documents, sending information to groups, improving communication across time zones, accountability, searching for information

AOL’s Alto

Released October 2012, email web application.

aimed to keep what people liked (aggregating multiple email accounts, for instance) and remedy what they didn't (multiple accounts also multiplied inbox clutter and email anxiety).

a post-foldering approach to organization," says Ramirez. (You can create folders in Alto, but AOL's studies show that few consumers actually use them.) The stacks update dynamically and work continuously, automatically sorting incoming messages, which also appear in your main feed, into five default groupings: daily deals, social notifications, retail, photos, and attachments.”

“Alto uses a visual search to display the content being delivered: Click on the photos or attachments stack and you get an instant array of thumbnails displaying its contents--no searching or opening of messages required.”

“Users can also create custom stacks for subjects like travel, work projects, or family by setting simple rules for sorting by sender, domain, or keywords. There's even an option to have certain types of messages bypass the inbox altogether, instead sending them right to a stack for periodic checking. Explains Temkin, "By sifting through bulk mail, you end up with the things that really matter in your inbox."”

“while people like having several e-mail accounts stream into a single box, it also leads to organization problems.”

“A “snooze” feature allows you to set a future time at which you’ll be bugged to respond to a particular e-mail.”

“AOL’s Alto, they give simple, straightforward tools that a user can utilize to help organize their inbox. Thus, nothing is automatic; users must, for the most part, manually create their stacks before being able to reap the benefits.”

Team Rio: Brevitus

“simply reading and sending email has been proven to increase physical markers of stress … Maximum stress during the day cooincided with full inboxes.”

“when people received emails related to the completion of a project, their stress levels decreased … Folders were also found to decrease stress, as users felt "in control" of their data, rather than having it control them.”

Blog post: Sort...or Search?

“Folder access took slightly longer than searching to find messages, and if you include the time spent creating folders and the initial filing of emails, searching clearly came out ahead.

Blog post: Birdseye Mail

“Email messages are shown as a list of cards. Sifting through your inbox is as simple as swiping across the screen to see the next message. Swiping up would archive the message, and tapping on the bottom arrow reveals a list of common actions such as reply, delete, and forward. Of course, you also have the ability to compose new messages from this app. One of the coolest features of Birdseye Mail is the Unsubscribe button, which automatically unsubscribes you from those annoying subscription messages.”

“Users are also able to see their Gmail folders lined neatly in the folders or binders layout. Each folder is given a color, which can be used to quickly discern which folder the email belongs to (similar to a feature that will be seen in Brevitus).”

Harvard Business Review
Email not dead – evolving

“email is … becoming a searchable archive, a managers accountability source, a document courier.”

“When asked to select all the tools they trust for collaboration, respondents chose e-mail as the best, by far. Workers use 19 distribution lists on average. But 22% would like to see e-mail adopt a more social construction, using self-selected “followers” and “friends.””

60% of respondents access email at work pc/laptop
11% on home PC
8% mobile

workers spend 15% of their time reading emails, 13% writing them, 22% other email activities (searching, archiving, navigating)

“HOW SATISFIED ARE WE WITH E-MAIL? While people are satisfied overall, satisfaction is slightly lower for the searchability of e-mail, and significantly lower for archive management: Only 44% rate that highly. The lowest satisfaction is with mobile access to e-mail: Only 37% rate it highly.”

“WHAT DO WE USE E-MAIL FOR? Half of respondents believe that e-mail reduces the need for other file storage systems—meaning they are using it to archive important documents. Still, this function could improve. A third of users find e-mail search to be time-consuming and difficult to navigate. Average time to locate a document in e-mail is two minutes. We asked respondents to list the tasks they use e-mail for. Note that communication between individuals—the original intent of e-mail—isn’t even listed in the top five activities.”

76% exchanging documents
69% sending information to groups
61% improving communication across time zones
60% accountability
59% searching for information

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