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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > mail.app ui is a bad joke!

mail.app ui is a bad joke!
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moreno
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Apr 28, 2005, 11:45 PM
 
MAIL.APP TOOLBAR LOOKS HORRIBLE
i would like to know what guys at apple are smoking!
     
ManOfSteal
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Apr 28, 2005, 11:46 PM
 
To each their own...however, go ahead and change it if you want.
     
wreising
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Apr 28, 2005, 11:51 PM
 
I like it. It's different and just looks cool.
But I don't really mind the collection of inconsistent UI's in OSX
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real
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Apr 29, 2005, 12:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by moreno
MAIL.APP TOOLBAR LOOKS HORRIBLE
i would like to know what guys at apple are smoking!

Why does it look horrible. REASONS PLEASE! Just Curious
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Mr. Blur
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Apr 29, 2005, 12:30 AM
 
or, of course one could just look at the thread for this that already exists and see what has been said already: http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.php?t=253601
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Severed Hand of Skywalker
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Apr 29, 2005, 12:43 AM
 
I loooooooooooove the new look. Everything about it. It is the thing I am the most excited about in Tiger.

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jasonsRX7
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Apr 29, 2005, 12:49 AM
 
I really like the new Mail.app. It fixes almost everything I didn't like about the previous version. It's probably the best mail program I've ever used.
     
CaptainHaddock
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Apr 29, 2005, 01:58 AM
 
Mail.app is the only thing I'm dreading about Tiger.

The reviewer at Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/3) concurs that it's ugly, and points out how it flagrantly violates Apple's own human interface guidelines.

Aesthetics are admittedly subjective, and I can imagine someone liking the new look. But the toolbar buttons suffer from some usability problems as well. First there's the issue of the little (pale blue, of course) "capsules" that surround each button. The capsules make all the toolbar buttons the same shape, and very similar in overall appearance. This flies in the face of Apple's own human interface guidelines, which state:

Each toolbar icon should be easily and quickly distinguishable from the other items in the toolbar. Toolbar icons emphasize their outline form, rather than subtler visual details. As shown in Figure 10-15, each Finder toolbar icon's shape is unique.



Doh!

There's also the strange case of the conjoined toolbar buttons. As the "customize toolbar" sheet shows, some buttons are available individually, some in groups, and some in both forms. This is inflexible, inconsistent, and again, a little strange.
He mentions that he filed a bug at Apple because of Mail's ugliness. His bug report was labelled a "duplicate" and merged with the other similar bug reports that apparently exist. It sounds like plenty of people agree on this.
     
Kristoff
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Apr 29, 2005, 02:20 AM
 
But Safari has violated that rule since day 1.
signatures are a waste of bandwidth
especially ones with political tripe in them.
     
Randman
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Apr 29, 2005, 02:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by jasonsRX7
I really like the new Mail.app. It fixes almost everything I didn't like about the previous version.
Ditto.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
michaelb
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Apr 29, 2005, 02:52 AM
 
I like the new Mail toolbar.

Sleek and minimalist, doesn't jump out at you and shout "I'm a toolbar aren't I great."

I did have to customize it to my liking though:

     
ctbritt
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Apr 29, 2005, 03:02 AM
 
Can someone tell me if Tiger's Mail.app allows the partial downloading of headers when using an IMAP account? I'm on a slow line and currently, Mail.app under panther downloads the entire message for my .Mac account. I've had to go back to Entourage temporarily so I can get only the first 20K or so and download the rest if I want to. I miss Mail.app, though? Will really be looking forward to going back if Tiger's Mail.app fixes this.

Thanks!
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bborofka
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Apr 29, 2005, 03:06 AM
 
Mail 2.0 has no Status Bar. I'd like to see how many messages I'm receiving in the main window, please.

Mail 2.0 doesn't compose in HTML format as advertised. Why?

Mail 2.0 still has no option to display the number of unread messages on the Dock icon that are NOT in the Inbox.

Mail 2.0's sounds are barely audible.

Mail 2.0 has no convient "conversation"-like view that Gmail has. It'd be nice to see a whole thread's discussion in one window.

I like a lot of the improvements to Mail, but these things really bug. The lack of a Status Bar is really hampering my workflow. Opening the Activity Viewer every time is such a wasted action.
     
foobars
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Apr 29, 2005, 03:46 AM
 
What REALLY sucks is I replaced the new Mail.app toolbar icons with the old Mail.app icons (I saved all my apps before installing) and they don't fit! Apple chose to use a totally non-standard size toolbar space, so the tops and bottoms of 32px icons are cut off. Of course these toolbars are programically attached so they're not even editable in IB. Thanks a lot Apple!
     
goMac
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Apr 29, 2005, 04:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by foobars
Of course these toolbars are programically attached so they're not even editable in IB. Thanks a lot Apple!
All toolbars are programically attached. They may be linked in IB, but all toolbars are created in code.
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Apr 29, 2005, 04:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock
Mail.app is the only thing I'm dreading about Tiger.

The reviewer at Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/3) concurs that it's ugly, and points out how it flagrantly violates Apple's own human interface guidelines.
The reviewer at Ars complains that you can drag around a window by the space between the icons on a toolbar, then mentions that this sucks because the active area of toolbar icons isn't clearly delineated, and then rails against Mail.app's toolbar, ignoring the fact that the new toolbar fixes *precisely* the problem he was complaining about earlier.

FWIW, I like the new Mail.app a lot - except for the lack of a status bar.
     
Zimphire
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Apr 29, 2005, 06:48 AM
 
No matter what Apple does, someone isn't going to be happy.

I personally like this modern new look.

I personally would have loved Apple to have made the whole OS like it.

But hey, that is just me.
     
Millennium
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Apr 29, 2005, 07:12 AM
 
The capsules are indeed subjective. On one hand, they do make the buttons essentially the same shape, which could be considered a usability flaw. On the other hand, they make them look like actual buttons -reversing an inane trend started by IE3/Windows- which is a usability enhancement.

So, which one wins out?
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CaptainHaddock
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Apr 29, 2005, 09:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
The capsules are indeed subjective. On one hand, they do make the buttons essentially the same shape, which could be considered a usability flaw. On the other hand, they make them look like actual buttons -reversing an inane trend started by IE3/Windows- which is a usability enhancement.

So, which one wins out?
If they were subtle buttons that emphasized the shape of the enclosed icon (like the Safari buttons), that would be okay. To accomplish this, Safari had to make the icons dark and simple. Safari also broke away from OS consistency. Mail.app 2.0 didn't bother with usability or consistency.

If buttons really are a usability enhancement, why not replace all icons in the OS with buttons and tiny pictures? That would look really stupid, wouldn't it? Computer users already know an icon is a button.
     
Kerrigan
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Apr 29, 2005, 09:53 PM
 
I like the new look a lot, I especially like the flatter, clearer looking controls (the drop-down list that allows you to select and account, and the small button for CC functions). I would like to see the aforementioned styles applied systemwide.
     
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Apr 29, 2005, 10:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock
Computer users already know an icon is a button.
No, computer users don't know that, because icons aren't buttons. They are objects.
     
businezguy
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Apr 29, 2005, 11:04 PM
 
I absolutlely love the new Mail app. It's outstanding! This is easily the best mail application I have ever used. I'll never think about moving to Entourage again.
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Apr 29, 2005, 11:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by bborofka
Mail 2.0 has no Status Bar. I'd like to see how many messages I'm receiving in the main window, please.
My only complaint so far. I'm so glad it fixed whatever they broke in 10.3.9 with Mail and IMAP.
     
UnixMac
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Apr 30, 2005, 12:35 AM
 
to be consistent, I wonder if Safari and the finder windows are going to follow suit?
( Last edited by UnixMac; Apr 30, 2005 at 12:57 AM. )
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mitchell_pgh
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Apr 30, 2005, 12:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by ManOfSteal
To each their own...however, go ahead and change it if you want.
I think it's funny that a horribly designed website is making fun of the GUI
     
mitchell_pgh
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Apr 30, 2005, 12:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Zimphire
No matter what Apple does, someone isn't going to be happy.

I personally like this modern new look.

I personally would have loved Apple to have made the whole OS like it.

But hey, that is just me.
     
tkmd
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Apr 30, 2005, 12:53 AM
 
I wish there would be a status bar to indicate that it is logging in to get mail. I press the "get mail button and I'm not sure whats going on. Its frustrating but not the end of the world. I personally don't mind the "shiny plastic look " but Apple please make up your mind what gui elements you what to use. Itunes and safari in brushed metal, mail in shiny plastic - its beginning to look like a windows box with cheap skins on it. No consistency.
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entrox
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Apr 30, 2005, 06:08 AM
 
Is there a way to move the sidebar to the right side? I always had my drawer open there, so it feels awkward to have my mailboxes on the left.
     
pete
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Apr 30, 2005, 07:50 AM
 
Is there a horizontal mode like in Entourage? I really think that't the best way to view messages and it also is consistent with the finder....
     
Dirk Lenz
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Apr 30, 2005, 08:57 AM
 
From a graphic designers view i think the new look of Mail is very well done.

I dont see ANY usability issues. Buttons look and behave as buttons. Icon shapes are still intact within their button container. Icons are smaller and less cluttered which is what a good icon is all about. Button groups are a very good idea as well. The overall look is light and modern.

Kudos to the design team. Go on with the other apps please!

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Apr 30, 2005, 09:06 AM
 
I'd really love a Gmail-style conversation view. Once I got used to it, not being able to see what I sent to inspire a response (especially for work) is really, really frustrating. At least in Panther (no Tiger for me yet in China) the "threading" is totally inadequate.
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Apr 30, 2005, 09:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Zimphire
No matter what Apple does, someone isn't going to be happy.
True - but that doesn't mean that everything they do is perfect...
     
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Apr 30, 2005, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock
Mail.app is the only thing I'm dreading about Tiger.

The reviewer at Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/3) concurs that it's ugly, and points out how it flagrantly violates Apple's own human interface guidelines.



He mentions that he filed a bug at Apple because of Mail's ugliness. His bug report was labelled a "duplicate" and merged with the other similar bug reports that apparently exist. It sounds like plenty of people agree on this.

it depends on what you consider the "icon"

IMO the icon is within that blue button graphic. the button functions are intuitive and the button graphic groups them together.

i dont use an app for mail so it is meaningless to me but it doesn't look that bad. better than the old design IMO.
     
DigitalEl
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Apr 30, 2005, 10:10 AM
 
Well put by SWG:
I loooooooooooove the new look. Everything about it. It is the thing I am the most excited about in Tiger.
What he said. I think the setup looks a lot more like Entourage now, which is not a sin in my book. It's more professional. I can't wait to really dig into those Smart Mailboxes.
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Apr 30, 2005, 10:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by DigitalEl
[/b]What he said. I think the setup looks a lot more like Entourage now, which is not a sin in my book. It's more professional. I can't wait to really dig into those Smart Mailboxes.
I agree... While I've been using mail.app for a few years, it doesn't look very inspiring from the user perspective.
     
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Apr 30, 2005, 11:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock
Mail.app is the only thing I'm dreading about Tiger.

The reviewer at Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/3) concurs that it's ugly, and points out how it flagrantly violates Apple's own human interface guidelines.



He mentions that he filed a bug at Apple because of Mail's ugliness. His bug report was labelled a "duplicate" and merged with the other similar bug reports that apparently exist. It sounds like plenty of people agree on this.
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rcr
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Apr 30, 2005, 12:02 PM
 
> Mail 2.0 doesn't compose in HTML format as advertised. Why?



Can someone elaborate on this?

As a longtime user of Eudora, I am evaluating Mail for a possible migration, so I am less familiar with Mail than some. Apologies, and please set me straight if I am wrong on any of this...

There doesn't seem to be a way to create hyperlinks when composing messages.

When I copy and paste html into Mail, it seems to work ok, but sends an alternate plaintext (x-flowed) version in the body as well, and at least in Eudora, this looks horrible to the receipient.

All attachments seem to be inline with ugly MIME headers that display in the message body whether you like it or not. Any way around this?
     
bbales
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Apr 30, 2005, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by businezguy
I absolutlely love the new Mail app. It's outstanding! This is easily the best mail application I have ever used. I'll never think about moving to Entourage again.
I'm using Entourage currently and hope to migrate to Mail for good. I've upgraded teh PB to Tiger, but not my desktop. I've been really excited about Mail and its possibilities, particularly syncing the two machines. Mail SUPPOSEDLY will do this, right? I've only played around a little and it mentions syncing accounts, etc. But will it sync the mail itself, so that if I send a message on my PB, for example, it will show up in the "sent mail" file on my desktop after syncing?

Obviously, I can't try this myself until after I upgrade the desktop machine.
     
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Apr 30, 2005, 02:59 PM
 
Mail 2.0 -- overall it is a worthwhile upgrade. It is cleaner, looks ok and works. I was never a big fan of the drawer and prefer the sidebar. It would be nice to be able to change the position of the sidebar from left to right. This applies to the Finder as well.

I'd really like an acticity bar like in Mail 1.x to see how many mails are being fetched and what they are called. That was really nice.

The new interface is rather strange. I have mixed feelings about it but overall I think it is ok. What bothers me the most about it is the incosistency of it compared to other Apple apps. I'm all for this look but then I'd like to see it simply replace the Aqua look or perhaps Brushed Metal too. Inconsistency of the interface bothers me. Tiger is all over the place regarding the look and function of the user interface. I feel that it doesn't have to be that way.

I don't know what Apple is thinking with the Mail UI - not that it is bad - because it is just in one small app.

Bottom line is that I think the inconsistency and the slightly worse customization of the UI in Mail 2.0 are eclipsed by other improvements made in Mail 2.0. The new Mail is better than the old one.

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Mithras
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Apr 30, 2005, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by rcr
> Mail 2.0 doesn't compose in HTML format as advertised. Why?
Can someone elaborate on this?

As a longtime user of Eudora, I am evaluating Mail for a possible migration, so I am less familiar with Mail than some. Apologies, and please set me straight if I am wrong on any of this...

There doesn't seem to be a way to create hyperlinks when composing messages.
It may not be all that one could want, but it's definitely sending HTML mail.
You can add a link by highlighting the text you want to be a link, and then choosing the menu item Edit:Add Hyperlink (or ctrl-click for a contextual menu).

Agreed on the inline attachment thing; I find that annoying when sending large PDFs.
     
rcr
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Apr 30, 2005, 03:16 PM
 
Thanks, Mithras. I hadn't seen that "Edit Link..." contextual menu choice.

Any comments on my question about the duplicate plaintext ("flowed") version of message HTML being automatically included in sent mail, and thus displayed twice on the recipient's end? (At least on the recipient copy of Eudora I tested with?)

rcr
     
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Apr 30, 2005, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Kristoff
But Safari has violated that rule since day 1.
At least Safari 2.0 finally has a real toolbar that is customized in the standard way, rather than having weird tickable menu items in the View menu.

And yes, I originated this bug.
     
UnixMac
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Apr 30, 2005, 04:13 PM
 
I do think that there is a bit too much in the way of interface inconsistency between various apps.. they need to "Homogenize" them a bit.
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CaptainHaddock
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Apr 30, 2005, 09:12 PM
 
Ever try thinking for yourself?
No need to be rude, Kcmac. We can still be civil, even if I think the Mail.app UI is ugly and you don't.
     
mAxximo
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Apr 30, 2005, 09:24 PM
 
I like Mail 2.0.
Anything getting rid of those retarded drawers and stripes deserves praise. I hope Acquisition follows suit.
If I could only customise the pale blue on the side panel...
     
OAW
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Apr 30, 2005, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by mAxximo
I like Mail 2.0.
Anything getting rid of those retarded drawers and stripes deserves praise. I hope Acquisition follows suit.
If I could only customise the pale blue on the side panel...
Indeed. I think that pale blue background in the mailbox panel is just pure, unadulterated ass. If it was just a standard white background I imagine we wouldn't be hearing nowhere near the number of complaints we are about the new UI.

OAW
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 30, 2005, 10:06 PM
 
I like the overall design, but I really hate those buttons. I know you can remove the frame, but that doesn't make them look better either, because they rely on the frame to have good contrast to the background.

But the rest is fine.
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leperkuhn
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May 1, 2005, 01:30 AM
 
I care first about function. Tiger Mail is head and shoulders above Panther Mail. The drawer was terrible, and the lack of search folders was hard to deal with.

I could really care less about what the buttons look like. The new features are a blessing and I will never, ever give them up. Cold dead fingers aside.
     
kcmac
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May 1, 2005, 10:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock
No need to be rude, Kcmac. We can still be civil, even if I think the Mail.app UI is ugly and you don't.
Sorry if it came out that way CaptainHaddock. Nothing personal.

I was going more after the message than the messenger. Being hesitant to use or try something because someone else thinks it looks aesthetically challenged is what I was bringing up. If that was the case, why would anyone try anything on the PC?
     
kcmac
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May 1, 2005, 10:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW
Indeed. I think that pale blue background in the mailbox panel is just pure, unadulterated ass. If it was just a standard white background I imagine we wouldn't be hearing nowhere near the number of complaints we are about the new UI.

OAW
Probably a good observation. My wife has complained that it is somewhat hard to read the text now in the left sidebar area. Taking out the blue and just highlighting the open mailbox would probably improve this. As well as being able to enlarge the text as well.
     
 
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