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Emails were never intended as a form of chat type messaging. Remember that they are electronic versions of mail, so trying to modify them to be something they weren't designed for is a mistake. As to the reasons why we write the subject line first: The subject line is part of the header of an email (see the original RFC822 and the newer RFC5322), and ...


9

This may be similar to the question Why don't ATMs give you cash before your card?: Users follow the tasks in sequence, but regard the task as completed once they have achieved their goal. Subsidiary steps are easy to abandon at this point. The goal of writing an email is conveying information. Once the message body is complete that goal is supposedly ...


9

I'd like to approach this question from a bit of a different perspective than that of other answers. What's In An Order The essential question posed is questioning the philosophy and methodology of ordering form fields. On the one hand, one might wish to order them in the order that the author would be expected to write them. This is a perfectly sensible ...


6

As a reader, I want to know "Why are you sending me this email?" so I know whether it is worth my while reading it now, instead of doing all those other important things on my to-do list. As a reader, I expect the writer to know why they are sending me the email, and more to the point, I hope they will know why they are sending me the email before they ...


5

Users typically want to see the most recent activity first. Think tweets, online banking transactions, news updates. It makes it easy to see what's new since you last checked. With conversations, it's different because there is the context of whatever message came before and after the one you're looking at. It's a similar situation to what you see in ...


4

37signals has a great example of how you can make this interesting for the user and help them understand your story. No offense to the HR professional who commented (though, it wouldn't be the first time I've offended HR), a history page that starts with the present is probably too much about what you want to say. Your current achievements are, hopefully, ...


4

You should present the most important information first, and so that will determine the order that you present the logs in. For most logging applications, the most recent logs are more important, and so it's better UX to present the newest items first. However, there are situations where each log is fairly long, and either the older logs are more critical, ...


3

Alternatively– a you mention price as another "column"– you could integrate the sorting buttons into the list itself similar to a sortable table. Unless the objective is to enable sort hierarchies (e.g. by name, then price).


3

My understanding of this is that the original uppermost content becomes the anchor of the interaction. Everything below it is a reply. To reply to a reply, you'd need to set that as an anchor (in many UX cases). Tweets in reply, for example, unfold the whole conversation in this manner with a "More" option if there's more than X-number of Tweets threaded. ...


3

I would do it the easiest way: new logs at the top. Many applications with a dated list of items do their sorting this way; Outlook, gmail, twitter, windows event viewer, etc. Your users will be familiar with this style of layout, and find it easy to use - with the most urgent events immediately visible at the top.


3

NN/g article explaining different sorting which should be used depending on the scenario. Alphabetical Sorting Must (Mostly) Die Widths and heights are ordinal data, meaning that they have an inherent monotonically increasing sequence. Such items should almost always be sorted accordingly. Other times, items have domain-related logical groupings. ...


3

As an HR professional, reverse chronological is ALWAYS the preferred order when looking for information. I don't need (or want) irrelevant information. I think you should determine how you want the information to be interpreted. Is it a story? From day 1. Is it a company update? Latest, first. You may need to evaluate who your audience is, as well. The ...


2

The information should be given in the order of importance. The vast majority of the time this will be reverse chronological, as more recent events are usually more important. However if older events are more important (for example if the page is stressing a rich history), then you should sort it chronologically. Here is an example from Royal Delft that ...


2

Option "D" unlike all the other options, provides meaning without necessarily forcing direction. For example, many mobile UIs allow the user to turn the device. So there are two orientations, landscape and portrait. If an item were draggable in portrait, it would be up and down. In landscape, it might be left and right (I've actually had to deal with ...


2

It's simple information hierarchy. Just as a paper has the author and title at the top, so does email. Now, one could argue that that is only important for the reader, not the author. And I think that's a valid argument. That said, when we read emails, they have a particular hierarchy and an equally valid argument is that the template used to create the ...


2

I learned the following from this: Ordering threads by last reply on top will overwhelm you with replies to threads you are not interested in. Ordering threads by last thread on top, causes you to miss replies to messages you are interested in. Luckily we already have the concept of notifications. A notification is generated according to the following ...


2

Ask this same question to the marketing people in your company. They might have strong feelings about what to show first when the user is not forcing a particular ordering. Think of the entries in Google's search pages: move up the more rewarding. This might require the implementation of a policy. I did one a few years ago. The items were allotted an ...


2

Taking as given that this is a necessary design element, then.... This classic "font-da mover" widget (as it was first seen by many of us), aka the list-to-list, has not radically changed in a while. Making it more contemporary, arguably "better," can be done by Drag-and-drop from list to list, instead of button actions. This will have to be rock-solid ...


1

You could do either, depending on how you want to present the information. Do you want to emphasize "normal" or are you trying to emphasize the "non-normal" condition? Users will tend to scan from left-to-right - placing the object you want emphasize to the left would make sense as a result. Because the "normal" condition is common across all tabs, you can ...


1

Essentially what you are wanting to do is create sub-lists within a global list. Why not prepend all of of your items with an alphabetised prefix. For example: EMAIL: a task EMAIL: forward this EMAIL: reply with report PICS: create album x PICS: create album y PICS: delete picture 2 from album x This way you could scroll, or browser find straight to ...


1

I suspect that people write e-mail applications this way because other people have written e-mail applications that way and everyone is used to it. Users expect that when they are confronted by a completely unfamiliar e-mail application, it will prompt them for a subject at the top of the entry form, and a body below. Users get what they expect and don't ...


1

I can only think of two particular justifications for this: Back when this was not a standard convention, there was probably not a lot of difference between the length of the subject line and the body text (think back to the of the early days of text messaging, and even twitter). Given the ability and convenience to add a lot of things to emails now, one ...


1

Let the user decide because everyone is different. From the User Experience standpoint this can be tricky. If you have a very long running discussion then you have to navigate down through the whole thread until you reach the part that you're looking for. Since English speakers read from top to bottom this is somewhat intuitive, but it can be quite time ...


1

I am trying to remember which email service other than gmail and office outlook groups emails with the same subject line. That said, the reason Gmail might want to show the latest email at the last is so that the user can scan through a long list of related emails and quickly get an understanding of the starting of the discussion and its current state as he ...


1

A list can be sorted in one of the following ways Numerical Ordering (Ascending/Descending) Logical Ordering (FIFO, LIFO, Sequential) Ethical / Value Driven (Projected by Paradigms) 2 seems to be a bit more difficult of a case, do you order from most restrictive to least restrictive or the opposite. What you are looking for is a value driven ...


1

What do the people visiting the company history page want to read? What information is the company trying to communicate to those people? (Is a company history page even needed?) The answers to those questions is going to guide you to the best implementation for this particular page. I've had some clients where: The company history has been prose ...



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