Dissecting "Mail"


Concepts and features of the standard
Android mail client.

First look:


  • Differentiation of new/read emails through background color.
  • As a logo take the photo from the Contacts app or if n/a the first letter w/ random background color.
  • Messages can be starred.
  • A paper clip marks attachments.

Standard design elements:

  • Main Action Bar:
    • Side Drawer
    • Action: "Write new Mail"
    • Toggle Menu
  • List Menu (the Emails)

Side Drawer:


  • Lists all Email accounts.
  • Lists related folders.


Standard design elements:

  • Radio Buttons:
    Switch between Email accounts.
  • Menu items (metaphoric icons):
    Switch between folders relative to the selected Email account.

Side Drawer:

... having selected a specific Email account...

  • All related folders get listed.
  • Recently used folders are listed too.
  • Folders with subfolders are marked at the edge.



Side Drawer:

... wrap-up...


  • Flat hierarchy.
  • Metaphoric icons.
  • The "Combined view".
  • "Recently used" shortcut.
→ Accessible

List Menu:

Vertical scrollable list featuring a minimum of information.

  • Items markable by tapping the icons.
  • The Toggle Menu hides "Add star"




List Menu:

  • Lets you delete messages by  horizontal swiping.
    • And provides an undo-feature.




List Menu:

... wrap-up...

  • Vertical scrolling.
  • Swipe-to-delete.
  • Tap-to-select.
  • Uses Contact-Icons or first letter.

Accessible,
      delightful,
     designed.

Reading a Mail:

... having tapped a list menu item...

  • You can quickly switch between mails due to the Page Carousel design pattern.
  • A minimal feature set is displayed. Additional features hidden behind a Toggle Menu and a Drop-Down Arrow.




Reading a Mail:

... wrap-up...

  • Page Carousel.
  • Reduced/hidden feature set.


Accessible,
    delightful.

  Wrap-up:  

  • Androids "Mail" is a native app that comes preinstalled on most Android devices.
  • It sticks to expectations and provides a delightful swipe-to-delete shortcut and a page carousel for flipping though mails.
  • Due to the reduced feature set it is highly accessible.
  • It also innovative in its design, turning the first letter of the sender in a design feature.

  • The downside: "Mail" is mildly innovative overall and lacks state of the art features (e.g. "Threaded view", "Mark as spam", "GnuPG encryption").

Dissecting Androids "Mail"

By Per

Dissecting Androids "Mail"

Concepts and features of the standard Android mail client.

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