Opened Mail - the Jagged Edge
Original Publication Date: 1989-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
This article describes a way to show 'opened' mail for an electronic mail application that presents the mail to the user in a graphical manner. Fig. 1 shows a 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 as possible. For a mail in-basket, the graphics need to show which mail items have been opened (mail item contents viewed) by the user, but not filed or deleted from the in-basket. In other words, there needs to be a way to distinguish between mail items that have been opened and new incoming mail. (Image Omitted) In keeping with how 'real' opened mail looks, the right edge of the opened mail item will have a 'jagged edge'. This is shown in Fig. 2.