[UI] Increase Size of Preview Pane
Idea shared by kevind - 5/7/2020 at 7:33 AM
Under Consideration
IDEA: Condense the message header in the preview pane so more of the actual message is displayed.

Currently the message header (Subject, Date, From, To, Message bar - Dangerous Scripts, & Message tab) seems like it takes up a lot of vertical space. This only leaves 1/2 the vertical space to preview the actual message (depending on monitor resolution).

  • Remove the excess white-space in the header so it takes up less vertical space.
  • Make the header scroll up/down with the preview window. Some other mail systems/clients do this.

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Here's a picture to better illustrate my point. The header has a lot of whitespace and in this example takes up over half the vertical space on the screen...

It's really an easy fix -- just get rid of the extra whitespace between all the different elements. Maybe even move the messages about dangerous scripts, etc. onto the same line as the Date/Time.

Another idea is to include the header in the scroll area like Gmail does.
Should I bother posting these UI improvements? Just trying to make SM a better product for our customers, but could use a reply from ST to make sure it's worth the effort. Thanks.
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@Kevin, thank you for your suggestions. I have added this to our feature requests list for further consideration.
Robert, good to hear this is on the list! Looking forward to some UI improvements.

In SM15, the header took up less space so you could see more of the message. So this is one thing our users notice after the upgrade, especially the ones on smaller displays where the header takes up 50% of the screen.

In addition to removing the excess whitespace, making the entire preview pane (including header) scroll up/down might provide a better user experience so users could see more of the message on the screen at once.
I agree. This is an excellent suggestion.
Just bumping this idea as it's been close to 6 months.  As more people ditch email clients and use webmail, this would be a great enhancement.

Had one email with 3 message bars at top (dangerous scripts, no images, and will be deleted in X days) leaving about 1 inch to preview the message. :)   How about a notification symbol <!> instead that could display all these items?

Easy solution is to include header in scroll area, like Gmail, so you can scroll down and see the entire message.
I believe the entire SmarterMail product could use less CSS padding.
Please check out the difference between the AOL's preview pane header vs Build 7817 highlighted in green. SmarterMail's header is limiting what can be displayed in the body. I had similar results comparing the preview panes in Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. Build 7817's preview pane header took up more space by far. I agreed with Ron. Less CSS padding please.

Thanks, Scott. So for the same message, AOL's preview pane is 2X larger than SmarterMail.

Even SM15 has 60% more space than SM17:

Please remove the padding in header and/or include the header in scrollable region. Thanks!
What will it take for SmarterTools to terminate the Padding King Programmer who originally built the UI?

Or better yet, what particular strain of weed made him/her think that this looks great?

Approaching the 1-year anniversary of when this was added to your feature requests list, so just following up to see if there has been any progress. It doesn't seem like it would be too much work to remove some of the spacing and make the interface more usable.

Going back to the picture above where the AOL preview window displays twice the number of rows vs. SmarterMail.

@Scott, can you post the rest of your numbers (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) for comparison?  Thanks.
Here are my results for rows displayed in full screen using Chrome. Keep in mind that this is not totally apples to apples since the interfaces use different font sizes. The bottom line is that SM 7866 displays the least.

SM Build 7866 = 33
SM 15.x = 46
GMail = 41
AOL = 56
Hotmail = 39
Yahoo = 42
For my laptop, SmarterMail shows 6 emails.  Gmail shows 17.
October Bump.  Please consider making these small enhancements:
  • reducing the size of the preview header to see more of the actual message
  • and/or allowing the entire preview pane (with header) scroll like Gmail's preview pane does
Shouldn't take too long and it would make a lot of customers happy. Thanks!
Bumping this thread for 2022.

Please eliminate some of the white space above the message so the preview is more useful.  Looking at the example above, AOL displays 2X more text than SM on the same size monitor.

It's been a few months, so just bumping this thread.  Would be really nice to eliminate the wasted space in the right half of browser to show more of the actual message.

Improving the web UI will get more people to use the web interface vs. a mail client. And it's so much easier to support the web client vs. an email client. Plus the contacts, calendar, and new Mark as Spam button are right there available to the user.

Bump for July '22 with 10 votes.

So far in 2022 there have been 6 releases, but they all contain primarily bug fixes (see release notes). Hoping to get a release that includes new product features and webmail enhancements like a larger preview pane.

This will get more users to use webmail which is easier to set up & support vs. an email client. Plus less expensive! Thanks.
Condense SmarterMail. Show more emails to the user please.
Sorry to jump on your thread but I would love for the white space to be removed from here too!  I can only see a list of 13 emails the flag could be up a row and honestly I'm not interested in the size so happy to lose that to be able to see more of my list

Now with 12 votes, so bumping this thread for Dec. 2022. 

AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo all show more lines in the preview window than SM17. Even SM15 (RIP) shows >10 more lines of text vs. SM17.

A couple simple fixes:
  • reduce the size of the preview header
  • allow the entire preview pane (with header) to scroll like Gmail's preview pane
This would be a nice enhancement to webmail. We like webmail because it's easier to set up and support.
Happy New Year!  Little bump to keep this idea on the list for 2024.

Maybe some of these messages can be moved to [...] menu button:
I dont think its an issue. Plenty of room. It can be to condensed and gmail is an utter UX disaster.

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