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TAKE 2 - Inbox

I have used the column navigation for the Inbox. The extra column does take up a lot of real estate on screen, but for our context of use, I feel positive about this trade-off. If you consider the flow of interaction on the page to view the messages from a particular course/site, the user has to move the pointer from left to right using the column navigation. This seems more natural.

Also, the columns allow multiple levels of the hierarchy to be open at once, and provide a visual representation of the current location

Some of the annotation that I would like to explain in here:

1. Notifications
Default focus would be on "Inbox". The suffix shows the number of unread items in the Inbox.

2. All Messages
Default focus would be "All Messages", that comprises of mailboxes from all the courses and sites. It is the aggregated view of Inbox.

3. Mailboxes
These are mailboxes which will be created automatically, after a user is enrolled into or joins any site/course.

Interaction Details:

  • The actual mailbox tag name will appear only after the first mail from that course/site (we can think of like a welcome email from the site, similar to some of the forum memberships).
  • I can see two different scenarios for mainbox tag names:

– Short Name (char-length<40): Some institutions follow a defined shorthand notation for course labeling (apart from Course Registration Number). I have seen Georgia Tech and UMich following this pattern atleast. There the tag consist of <course#>< > <couse name>. In such cases we can re-use that shorthand notation, for mailbox tag name.
– Long Name (char-length>40): For institution that have longer names/labels for the courses, we can import the course name with some charachter restiction, exceeding that will not appear in the tag name. I have tested this wireframe with char-length = 40. Screenshot is attached.

4. Mark as
I have combined three actions: Mark as read, Mark as unread and Mark as Junk, into one dropdown item.



1. Notifications
I have purposely put 'Notifications' category separate from 'Messages'. Notifications will have the alerts and other announcements from other tools.

2. My folders
These are user created folders which can be used to manage the messages in the Inbox.

3. Add Star
This will be a feature to add a star/flag et al to the message.

4. More Actions
I am not sure what to put in here. i am waiting for other spaces to grow and probably there is a need for the user to do some 'additional actions' right from the Inbox, let's say <add the contact to my friend network>.Consider this as a buffer

We can always remove this tab if everything is sorted out.

5. Move to
This dropdown can enable the user to send/archive his selected email to user defined folders and also trash( ? ) <Folder 1 | Folder 2 | Folder 3 | Trash>

6. Inbox
The number provides the user with a quick feedback on number of items in inbox (messages + notification)


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  1. Ashish, a minor comment: If what's in brackets in the subject column represents the name of a site, you may need to consider that the text might be quite a bit longer. Here at Berkeley site names examples are "209.7 - Ethics and Integrity in Law and Business ", and " AFRICAM 158A SEM 001 Fa08". It may make sense, as Keli suggested elsehwere, to have this in a separate column (unless we have something in Sakai equivalent to a "site short name").