"Real" Mail User Interface for In-Basket
Original Publication Date: 1989-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
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.