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Next: Benefits Up: Mail-tool Previous: Motivation

Design

In the Elastic Windows mail-tool e-mail messages are organized in multiple hierarchical windows. There are three main windows: New mail window, workspace window, and mail archive window hierarchy.

Incoming new messages are stored in the new mail window. A separate icon is created for each new mail message. The contents of an incoming mail can be read by dragging and dropping it on a window border, thus opening a window. In order to archive an incoming mail message, its associated icon should be dragged and dropped on a face icon in the mail archive window hierarchy.

The tools window basically contains icons such as envelope, blank paper, mailbox and trashcan which can be used to prepare and send messages. Messages can be prepared from scratch by first clicking on the blank paper which creates an empty blank paper in the workspace window. The user then opens a window in order to write the message on the paper, when done, an envelop is necessary to put the paper in. An envelop can be obtained by clicking on the envelop icon in the tools window. Once the recipient and the subject of the message is entered, a composed message can be inserted into the envelop by dragging a paper icon onto the envelop. In order to send the composed message users need to drag and drop envelopes on the mailbox icon in the tools window. Dragging an envelop or a message written on the paper onto the trashcan icon deletes it.

The mail archive window hierarchy consists of hierarchically nested windows with icons of senders containing e-mail correspondence with the sender. Hierarchical organization of windows typically corresponds to the hierarchy of multiple organizations which the user is part of. For example, a student might organize messages according to the school hierarchy, such as messages from members of the university, department, lab, and classmates. Messages are archived in message lists organized by the sender, represented by a face icon, if available. When an icon is opened it brings a list of e-mail message correspondence between the user and the sender, where multiple messages from the list can be selected and opened in group windows for further examination. Copy and move window operations allow users to restructure organization of the mail archive. These operations allow the users to manage their mail archive efficiently.


next up previous
Next: Benefits Up: Mail-tool Previous: Motivation

Eser Kandogan
Sun Sep 13 18:34:46 EDT 1998

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