Browse Prior Art Database

"Real" Mail User Interface for In-Basket

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034544D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hibberd, LR: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a way to show incoming mail for an electronic mail application in a graphical manner. The figure shows the mail in-basket as a graphical representation of how 'real' mail looks and is handled. Difficulties arise in designing graphical interfaces because the graphics need to 'say' things with the least amount of text or space as possible. Here are some things that make this graphical representation of mail look like 'real' mail. * Each item in the in-basket is represented by rectangle which looks like an envelope. * The return address area on the envelope (top left corner) identifies who sent this mail item. * The top right corner of the envelope has an icon that looks like a stamp. This stamp will indicate the type of the mail item (document, note, meeting, image, voice, etc.

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"Real" Mail User Interface for In-Basket

This article describes a way to show incoming mail for an electronic mail application in a graphical manner. The figure shows the mail in-basket as a graphical representation of how 'real' mail looks and is handled. Difficulties arise in designing graphical interfaces because the graphics need to 'say' things with the least amount of text or space as possible. Here are some things that make this graphical representation of mail look like 'real' mail. * Each item in the in-basket is represented by rectangle which

looks like an envelope.

* The return address area on the envelope (top left corner)

identifies who sent this mail item.

* The top right corner of the envelope has an icon that looks

like a stamp. This stamp will indicate the type of the mail

item (document, note, meeting, image, voice, etc.).

* The postmark on the envelope is to the left of the stamp

icon. It consists of the date and time the item was mailed

and 'squiggly' marks like a 'real' postmark. The postmark

will be an icon so that it does not take up a lot of room on the envelope. In other words, it will be smaller than the one shown in the figure.

* The address area of the envelope identifies who the mail item

was mailed to, along with other helpful information, such as

the subject or name of the mail item. In addition to showing electronic mail like 'real' mail, this presentation of the mail in-basket also has the benefit of working like general text list...