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Ditch Black & White - Bring Colored Icons to SmarterMail 16
Idea shared by Ron Raley - 6/3/2017 at 9:28 AM
Under Consideration
I would like to start a rally for SmarterTools to ditch black and white icons in SmarterMail 16.  Replace them with vibrant color!
 
This is my argument:
When using the tools everyday, colored icons will fire more neurotransmitters in your brain than black & white icons.  In other words, it would be easier for the human brain to remember these functions, thus a better experience.
 
I understand themes are coming, but don't be afraid of color in the baseline product.  Vote if you agree.

27 Replies

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0
This. I love this!!!
1
Andrea Free Replied
Employee Post
Thanks for the suggestion, Ronald! I voted up the thread in my agreement, though I do hope for the ability to customize these colors as Administrators see fit. Themes are coming to SmarterMail in the future, and I'm excited to see their implementation! 

Andrea Free
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

0
Related to this, but I didn't want to start another thread about it, is that there's a bit too much white-space IMO in the UI, particularly in pages like the Manage -> Spool page.  The trend towards white-space has always been a bit of a waste of screen space, but in a data-intensive web application all this white-space just makes it harder to see the data.
 
So my simple suggestion is the following style rule:
 
.st-table .table>tbody>tr>td, .st-table .table>tbody>tr>th, .st-table .table>tfoot>tr>td, .st-table .table>tfoot>tr>th, .st-table .table>thead>tr>td, .st-table .table>thead>tr>th
 
Change the padding: 10px to something a little more moderate, like padding: 5px.  I tested that using Chrome's dev tools on the spool management page and it made quite a bit of difference in both how well the columns fit on the page as well as how many rows show on the screen before scrolling.
 
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I also dont like the "View Logs" page, everything feels crammed in the right side with a ton of wasted whitespace...
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This thread's new slogan is "Make SmarterMail Colorful Again"
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:))
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I wonder if they will consider ditching the monochrome product.  Don't be afraid of color for those buttons at the top!
3
Ron, great suggestion!  Somehow this post has been out here for 1.5 years, has 11 votes, and I never saw it until today.

I posted a similar suggestion a couple months ago...

Let's hope something gets done soon. One of SmarterMail's best features has always been the great UI. Unfortunately, we lost this with v16 and customers are looking at alternatives. :(
1
I respectfully disagree making the favicons for SmarterMail, SmarterTrack, and SmarterStats all blue.  It is very difficult for me to navigate through the applications.

Consider getting away from the monochrome tools guys.  It just makes sense.  Tim Uzzanti, please chime in for us. All of the product buttons have been greyed out and even the rich text editors are totally monochrome, making it hard to find text colors, photo, hyperlink, etc.

Vote to bring back the colors guys!  It would make the product more successful.  Proven.  Guaranteed.
4
Andrea Free Replied
Employee Post
There has been some internal interest in creating a colorful theme for the interface. It's something we will consider for a future version. 

Andrea Free
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

1
C'mon guys.  At least make the icons color coded.  Let's get away from this monochrome product!

Thank you for listening.

Ron
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I am reviving this old thread in support of a non-monochrome product.

Thank you!
Ron
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+1  With 18 votes, let's hope ST moves this to the top of the to-do list!
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I remember back in the day where we could embed our own custom CSS. Why can't we just have that back and a forum section where we can share some custom code snippets? That seems like a fair compromise. 

Of course, I would also want:

  • Ability per domain
  • Ability site-wise
  • Ability domain wise to disable custom CSS for debugging purposes
  • Ability site-wise to disable custom CSS for debugging purposes 

1
The colour icons don't bother me that much but what i would like is the ability to flag emails in different colours, this would amazing !!! 
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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
Hey there Anne! I can confirm this (colored flag support) is coming for client support at the very least in the future as we're aiming to make the client to server experience as similar to Exchange as possible. That said, I believe this functionality will be limited to clients at this time.
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Hi Kyle, Thanks for your feedback. Please excuse my ignorance what do you mean by "Clients"?  All our users / accounts exclusively use Smartermail through the log in below:


Does this mean we will have access to the feature when it becomes available? 

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You still can tweak that login page... via CSS and inline styling... at least in the Enterprise Version.
Ours is "tweaked"

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One thing I would like to be able to do is drop the HELP links off of all client pages.   I really don't need my clients being able to see all that SmarterMail has to offer... but we have shutoff and inaccessible to them for whatever reason... lol
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Hi Rod, That's interesting but really no advantage to my business to be branding this page, I'm more interested in functionality that would help myself and colleagues  more efficiently process emails. A colour flag system isn't for aesthetic purposes its to categorise mail.     
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Anne, this thread is about aesthetics, not colored mail categories :)
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Emily Ward Replied
Employee Post
@Anne

"Client" refers to email clients like Outlook. 

While we will not have colored flagging in the interface, the new build should have an option to assign a category to an email. You can then filter emails by category.
Emily Ward
Customer Relations and Partner Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
@emily  

Thank you for clarifying, its disappointing tbh as it would be good if smartermail interface ie your own product took priority, but thanks for feedback. 

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I agree that it would be nice to see improvements to the SM web interface. Keep making it better and people won't need to use an email client.

Back to the original post -- Ron suggests colored icons across the top menu bar. Should be easy to do. Looks like a lot of people agree with 23 votes.
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Colored Icons... yes... and no...

There is a school of enforcement that goes off on accessibility.
Colored icons that "mean" something are considered "non-accessible" to color-blind folks.   
Different schools of thought on how far those rules apply, but something as a web developer you must be constantly aware of.

No different than "black" lists and "white" lists that raise the hackles of yet another set of folks.

It's not as simple in the web-world to "just do it", there are all sorts of rules/policies that need to be adhered to.

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I am all for both. Make the interface better for those that use it, but also improve clients and their integration. I personally loathe using web interfaces when there is a native application that can do what I need.
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UI definitely needs major improvements or some sort of customization where we can just set colours or theme options. Right now SM looks really boring in terms of colours and not very fun to use from a user experience. I want my users enjoying their webmail experiences. For me removing these popups when you compose emails is first on my list.

Category adding to emails is similar to Tags & Labels i guess. Been there for years and years on other platforms let alone exchange. 

I agree with one post - rather than just imitating the exchange design, focus on making the system more unique and friendly. Exchange may be great but I would not want it to be the UI benchmark in any possible way.

If you ask me the Gmail interface web UI looks much better if you really wanted to have a benchmark, though I would want you to create your own benchmark and let Outlook/Exchange/Yahoo/Gmail, etc follow us rather than we follow them.

I do understand that at the end there EAS/Exchange Compatibility breaks when you do too much or add too much, but I think I would like SmarterMail to be smarter than just a MS Exchange copy over.

Any chance we can have easier installation of SSLs or some kind of inbuilt installation process for https ? I guess not the right place to ask for this one, but since I was typing I thought to add the extra line or two.

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