Email is the most active medium for digital communication, with most of us emailing every day. However, email client developers seem to have invented the wheel, the engine, and the chassis but then haven’t bothered with the adjustable seat or the air conditioning – especially when compared to the social scene (e.g. Facebook) or the mobile scene (e.g. iPhone).
Yes, email is still king, check out this infographic to read a few incredible stats such as “Nearly 4 times as many emails are sent each day as the total number of Facebook/Twitter updates, Google/Yahoo!/Bing searches and Internet pageviews combined” – eliminating any rumours of email dying off!
Nevertheless, the email does what it needs to most of the time and remains a functional tool, particularly as a professional form of communication.
A colleague of mine facebooked emailed me last week to complain about how “backwards email is” as well as sharing a few great insights into the typical email user’s experience with their email software. Here are the points he made:
- Email signatures should be classed as separate entities by the email program (e.g. Lotus Notes or Outlook), enabling them to be removed or hidden by the user if desired.
- Email thread headers (e.g. “From”, “Sent”) should also split along the same lines as the email signature to be viewed or not as desired.
- These changes should, in turn, allow users the choice to hide these fields for personal contact or show them for business use.
These days it’s all about user experience, so why is email lagging so far behind the conveniences of chat or SMS? Let’s have a look at one particular conversation compared across the two different mediums…