We're rebuilding our mail system on a mobile game and this mail system contains some important system messages we want to deliver to our users.

But we're a little bit confused as to whether we should have a mail open by default or keep a blank state where the mail appears when the user first loads the screen.

We want to open the first message by default to avoid having the user select the mail to view it.

But we also thought that an open message can confuse the user to think " Have I read this massage before ? ". We want to give users the total control to decide whether to open the mail or not.enter image description here

  • Is the chronological order important? If not then I would always list unread messages first followed by read messages in a less prominent style. This might also be a good place for an accordion with the first message auto expanded
    – DaveAlger
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 4:41
  • Chronological order is definitely not important . So can I take it that you mean it's ok to auto expanded the first message to the user and it won't cause less confusion than showing the user a blank state when the user first loads the screen? Thank you.XD
    – Nando Ama
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 6:27

1 Answer 1


Initial view should have just the list of messages. Once one is selected you can switch to split view. This can happen every time user returns to mail view. Additionally, add a read/Unread visual system to the messages... Similar to Outlook bolding of unread messages.

  • Thank you for your suggestion.But I'm wondering why we should just list of messages but not to split it? And I feel sorry that I didn't show the read/unread state in the picture.Actually we decided to use little red dot and different typeface(like unread messages would be bolt) to mark those unread messages.
    – Nando Ama
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 6:37
  • Reason for not having an open message is from one of your goals - giving user control over which messages are read. Otherwise it's confusing... Which messages should be open.. last read or newest. Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 14:43
  • Thank you so much and we decided to open no message .
    – Nando Ama
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 3:13

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