Mechanism to improve mail content consumption on mobile as well as desktop platforms with the ability to collapse e-mail discussions across multiple people into a "Topic View" that will convert a thread/group into a chatroom like interface to fecelitate quick response.
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-11
The IP.com Prior Art Database
e-mail is a formal medium of communicaton in an enterprize, this leeds to time consumed in composing an e-mail and also time and space consumed while rendering the e-mail. This could be a hinderance when collaboration over e-mail is expected. Each mail message has a large portion of the display going towards addressee and addresser details, subject line, signatures, official corporate disclaimers etc, these are distractions from the main content of the mail. This issue is more pronounced in discussions involving multiple stake holders and multiple "Reply" or "Reply All" scenarios. Even threaded messages dont cut the clutter. The proposed solution tries to address this problem by identifying the core content of a mail message, identifying threaded messages and collapsing them into an entity called "Topic". Once a topic is identified, the system would try to take the formality of the medium in the background while encouraging quick response, borrowing visual styling from a chatroom. Space optimization and content first approach is useful on a mobile device, since screen space and performance are a premium there.
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Mechanism to improve mail content consumption on mobile as well as desktop platforms with the ability to collapse e -mail discussions across multiple people into a "Topic View" that will convert a thread/group into a chatroom like interface to fecelitate quick response.
The problems solved:
1. Multitude of mails in the inbox around the same theme/subject
2. Side discussions usually get spun off into a separate thread as it appears in the inbox for all mailboxes that support threaded messages. This mechanism will bring those discussions in the same fold as the main discussion.
3. Trying to break the rigid, formal nature of mail and make it more collaborative.
4. Provides 1 view to the whole discussion by removing the clutter around names, the intended recipients, signatures et-al associated with an e-mail.
5. Limits the mount of information displayed on the screen at any time to the content only, this is is very important for small form factor devices, mobile phones and hand helds where screen sizes are limited.
1. Chat rooms
2. Threaded mails
Drawbacks of such solutions:
1. Invitation to a chat room does not guarantee participation since the invitee may decline, this mechanism enforces participation while retaining the collaborative nature of the communication.
2. Chat rooms may not be able to provide a back history of the chat when the user gets online. This solution presents the entire topic history to a person addressed whether the user is online or offline or connects at a later point in time.
3. Chatroom history view for a new joiner has limited support across clients.
4. There are no optimized solutions for mobile/hand-held devices that solve the "content first" problem like this solution.
The technique proposed is to group and collapse multiple mails with the same subject into a single discussion called a Topic. This is a client side only feature.
The client will compare the subject line of any new mail and check if it matches with any
previous mail. If it does the two(or more) mails are grouped as a Topic. Once a mail is identified as a member of a topic, they will collapse into a group-chat like interface, the client will extract only the essential fields from a mail and render them in the form of a chat room with a box where the user could enter a response to the discussion. The entered response would then be sent as mail messages to the participants. If the client identifies a disjoint set of users being addressed, the client would get a confirmation from the user on who are the intended recipients of the mail and allow the user to pick and choose from a list. The user can also add new recipients to the message.
In the inbox, a Topic would appear as a Subject
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Mail messages between multiple people will appear as a threaded message or as multiple e-mails in an inbox, frequently in a rapid-fire exchange of ideas the mail carries additional decorative data such as the signature, the mail sent to...