Author Topic: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements  (Read 10872 times)

Hi guys,

We've been trying to think of some improvements to the account management screens and flows in Aqua Mail. I'd like to have the community's opinion on this before we go too far.

1, for users who only have a single account, the Accounts screen may not add much value. So one thing we're considering is to not have the Accounts Screen enabled until the user adds a second account.

2, we're considering making the Navigation Drawer a bit more standard with quick account switch widget at the top (we already have this, isn't displayed by default). For users with a lot of accounts, they'd be able expand the account list by tapping the arrow icon next to the account name. This is a fairly standard behaviour for other email clients as well.



The three small account circles at the top can be "Pinned accounts" (that would be a new feature if ever implemented) or Most Recently Opened accounts.


3, we plan to introduce a new Manage Accounts screen that lists all user accounts and has a button for adding a new account.



4, we plan to introduce a new Account Settings screen for each account. The users will get to this screen from Settings. It would contain all settings that we currently have available on long-pressing an account in the Accounts screen



5, Since the amount of settings we have is so overwhelming (especially for non-power users) we'll try to perhaps re-organize them a little bit. Separate Folders from options, make the Signature a top-level thing, make the account color more obvious, and others.

7, We're also considering some visual improvements to the actual Accounts Screen



Please keep in mind that these aren't final in any way (layout, color, etc)
We'd appreciate your input and thoughts. Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 02:09:41 pm by lpetkov | Mobisystems | Designer »

phred

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 384
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 09:17:13 pm »
3, we plan to introduce a new Manage Accounts screen that lists all user accounts and has a button for adding a new account.
4, we plan to introduce a new Account Settings screen for each account. The users will get to this screen from Settings. It would contain all settings that we currently have available on long-pressing an account in the Accounts screen
+1 to both of these suggestions. I haven't been using AquaMail long enough to comment on the other suggestions.

Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 10:44:35 am »
Thanks for the replies! I'm glad to see the generally positive feedback on this.

Do you confirm that you'll add Smart Folder to Nav Drawer?

2- How will the user get access, through this new Nav Drawer, to Account list view?

3- Please post a mock view of Smart Folder new Nav Drawer. Improvements are needed there...

1. We've made the design decision to add the Smart Folder to the Nav Drawer. Implementation will be difficult, so we can't say when it will be ready.
2. In the mockup I missed an entry for the Accounts Screen - it will be a top level item, above Inbox/Smart Folder.
3. I'm still trying to figure this out, will keep you posted.

Please try to put account global signature "at the same level" of identities signatures. Currently, the process/screens are different for account and its identities.

Thanks for that tip.

I'm afraid that the would-be screen is too much white / grey compared to the current colorful one (for users that have assigned colors to their many accounts).
The best: stay close to the current layout, and post some dev versions to let users experience/comment.

There's a design issue with having the color fill the entire entry. Currently, in Dark theme your font color is white, and in Light theme, your font color is (nearly) black. If you choose a dark account color and you're using the Light theme, your color value will be very close to the font color value, and will be hard to read. Same if you're a dark theme user and your account color is very bright. Here's what I mean:



Our proposal is to make the account color, while still present and important, a bit more subtle and not to 'mix it' with any fonts and typography:



In the mockup scenario the user has set colors for each account, apart from the Smart Folder. The idea is to make the Smart Folder feature more prominent this way, and once the user sets a color for the Smart Folder, it will look similar to the accounts.

Thanks again.
L

Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 09:33:40 am »
Thank you!

Kostya Vasilyev

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12740
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 09:15:36 pm »
Quote
There's a design issue with having the color fill the entire entry. Currently, in Dark theme your font color is white, and in Light theme, your font color is (nearly) black. If you choose a dark account color and you're using the Light theme, your color value will be very close to the font color value, and will be hard to read. Same if you're a dark theme user and your account color is very bright.

Yes, and sometimes users have to tweak the color so it "works" with whatever font color is used in their theme (dark or light).

We also recolor the action bar (window title) in message list / message view / message compose modes to match the "current" account, but the color there is "darkened".

So avoiding "full account item recolor" in the account list view may still not let users use "any color they like" regardless of the theme - because of those "other" places where the account color (or its darker derivative) is used, but -- I quite like the more subtle "color patch on the side".

Please note that the smart folder can also be assigned a custom color (so maybe use same "color patch on the side" approach?).

Re: smart folder in nav drawer

It's my impression that there is a good number of users who'd like this.

Just not sure when we may be able to solve the underlying technical issue (database performance, keeping all those unread counts, the smart folder's and accounts' up to date at all times).
Creating debug logs for diagnostics: https://www.aqua-mail.com/troubleshooting/

The official FAQ: https://www.aqua-mail.com/faq/

Лог-файлы для диагностики: https://www.aqua-mail.com/ru/troubleshooting/

Вопросы и ответы: https://www.aqua-mail.com/ru/faq/

StR

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1558
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 05:23:26 am »
Having been reading every-so-often occurring discussions about custom colors and avoiding color-blending between different elements, I just thought about the well known (among mathematicians) "four color theorem" (See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_color_theorem )

I might be wrong here, but I here is what I think: Even though your problem is more than 2-D (almost 3-D), but because of the very finite number of layers, it is probably can be made equivalent to a 2-D N-color situation, where it might be that N would have to be higher (5 or 6?).

A smart algorithm could be used to assign elements to the group according to their common boundaries (elements that potentially have a common boundary/intersect would be in different groups). So, when numerically-close color are chosen for an element in a group, - the user is warned that it will be in conflict with another element.
Alternatively, - such an algorithm could be used for "dynamically" choosing the color of the overlay (the drawer), to avoid conflict with the other groups.

I suspect such an algorithm would be too complicated for an e-mail app, but I am still curious if it is possible at all.

mgagnonlv

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 06:19:24 pm »
Instead of "pinning" some accounts, why not include the possibility to order them at will?

With such a feature, one would add a new account, then decide where it goes in the list of accounts. It would be a bit similar to the Thunderbird extension "Manually sort folders [nofollow]" (which also sorts email accounts).

Kostya Vasilyev

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12740
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 08:30:13 pm »
Re: Instead of "pinning" some accounts, why not include the possibility to order them at will?

We already have that, at least for the app's main window (account list), not completely sure if this order is also used in the nav drawer, but I think it is.
Creating debug logs for diagnostics: https://www.aqua-mail.com/troubleshooting/

The official FAQ: https://www.aqua-mail.com/faq/

Лог-файлы для диагностики: https://www.aqua-mail.com/ru/troubleshooting/

Вопросы и ответы: https://www.aqua-mail.com/ru/faq/

mikeone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2762
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 09:23:38 pm »
Instead of "pinning" some accounts, why not include the possibility to order them at will?

With such a feature, one would add a new account, then decide where it goes in the list of accounts.

-> go to Account list (the app's main window -> long-press on account name -> Change Order -> "Move up / Move down / Sort by name"

madra

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2017, 07:25:06 pm »
Personally, I find the present  Accounts Screen pretty ugly. Especially when the user has a lot of accounts, all assigned different colours. It looks pretty garish. The proposed version with subtle accent colours is a lot nicer. However, I'd like to see the accounts window display accounts as avatars [as per the first screenshot in the thread, showing the navigation drawer].

That's how apps like myMail and mail.ru display accounts and, as well as looking a lot nicer, it allows for quick visual identification of your accounts. The assigned account colours could then be displayed as a coloured outline round the avatar.

madra

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 08:29:35 pm »

Please see attached screenshot. It's from myMail. This is not an account view (your suggestion), but it's a navigation drawer - so you would compare it to AquaMail navigation drawer, not AquaMail's main view.

Well. I don't think the nomenclature is that important. In fact, I'm not even sure what or where the 'Navigation Drawer' is in Aqua Mail? I've only been using it since yesterday and haven't seen that yet.  But that panel in myMail allows you to switch between accounts, in the same way that clicking on an account name in Aqua Mail's accounts window does. So functionally they're fairly similar.  And I think that the myMail approach is much more attractive looking than a textual list of accounts, on multicoloured backgrounds.

Thanks for uploading the screengrab from myMail, anyway. I wanted to upload one myself but I uninstalled myMail when I discovered the joys of Aqua Mail.

EDIT. Just to make clear what window I'm referrring to and why I find it unnecessarily ugly; here is a screengrab showing my setup with multiple email accounts configured. Even with me having selected a small range of quite understated colours, it still looks pretty awful:

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 08:43:43 pm by madra »

mikeone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2762
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 10:26:11 pm »

Please see attached screenshot. It's from myMail. This is not an account view (your suggestion), but it's a navigation drawer - so you would compare it to AquaMail navigation drawer, not AquaMail's main view.

Well. I don't think the nomenclature is that important. In fact, I'm not even sure what or where the 'Navigation Drawer' is in Aqua Mail? I've only been using it since yesterday and haven't seen that yet.  But that panel in myMail allows you to switch between accounts, in the same way that clicking on an account name in Aqua Mail's accounts window does. So functionally they're fairly similar.  And I think that the myMail approach is much more attractive looking than a textual list of accounts, on multicoloured backgrounds.

Thanks for uploading the screengrab from myMail, anyway. I wanted to upload one myself but I uninstalled myMail when I discovered the joys of Aqua Mail.
To compare the same screen (in AquaMail) with other clients, like myMail you will find AquaMail's'Navigation drawer in the message list:
-> tap on an Account -> tap (open) a folder -> swipe in from the left side to get the Navigation drawer.
[see screenshots: #1 collapsed / #2 expanded Account without / #3 with account names]
There you can find the 'missing' account images, which allows for quick visual identification and switch to another account
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 10:41:16 pm by mikeone »

mikeone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2762
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 10:32:52 pm »
To activate "Navigation drawer" go to the App's
-> Settings -> Look and feel -> 'Navigation drawer'

Right below are two more options related to the 'Navigation drawer' :
-> Accounts panel (how to show this panel)
-> With (or without) account names

madra

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 10:55:20 pm »
Ah. Now i get it. I hadn't realised that the wee downwards pointing arrow beside  "Accounts" was actually a non-dropped down dropdown. I thought the list of mailboxes underneath was displaying it in its already dropped down state:



Whoops! Silly me!


Now, I've just got to work out why my three Yandex based accounts are all displaying the avatar from the default account, instead of their own, whereas my 4 Google based ones are displaying their correct [and different] avatars.  Time to RTFM again, methinks!


mikeone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2762
Re: Accounts Screen / Account Settings / Account switching improvements
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 10:58:22 pm »
EDIT. Just to make clear what window I'm referrring to and why I find it unnecessarily ugly; here is a screengrab showing my setup with multiple email accounts configured. Even with me having selected a small range of quite understated colours, it still looks pretty awful:


To assign an appropriate color which will fit your aesthetic requirements ( 8) ):
-> long-press on account name -> Assign colour -> select 'Custom' at the top -> toggle the wheel and the sliders to choose a color.

You can also choose an Exact color: just enter the 'Hex value' (switch to the window 'Exact')
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 11:00:58 pm by mikeone »