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Preview Pane In Build 7459
Question asked by Jason Eisert - 6/5/2020 at 7:21 AM
Answered
Upgraded to Smartermail 7459 and understand that the ability to place the preview pane on the bottom has been removed.   I can not find the location to disable the preview pane.  We are getting a number of support calls in regards to this.

38 Replies

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8
Same issue here...
8
Sébastien Riccio Replied
We're also getting a lot of support tickets about this. I already opened a thread about it but no news so far.


I think at least the ability to disable the preview pane would need to be brought back. We don't really know what to answer to our customers to justify this regression.
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

9
Sébastien Riccio Replied
Hi. Any news about this topic ? We're getting our load of complaints that "it was better before" about the webmail layout. Most of them just want to be able to disable the preview pane like it was possible beforehand.

Kind regards,
Sébastien
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

8
John Marx Replied
We just lost a client for this. Others are stating they will be leaving without this. I can't argue with them as I know they live that way. Some have started using Outlook so they can have it turned off but have given us ultimatums to fix it or they too will be leaving. 
9
We also cannot understand the reason for removing an option like this that is present in practically all competing mail systems (or so...)...

Many of our users are complaining about this!

I love SmarterMail, but this is one of the biggest reasons for complaining from our customers ...
12
John Marx Replied
Here's how the MAJOR competition handles this. I say major as this is where our customers are going. Office 365 or Google. They both offer options for the reading pane (right, bottom, and off).

Office 365 / Outlook.com
Gmail

6
Chris Replied
We are also losing customers because of this.
4
Rick Moses Replied
My ISP just 'upgraded' to this version. The inability to disable the preview/reading pane is not only UNACCEPTABLE, it is also a HUGE security risk. I'm pretty good at picking out spam based on the subject or sender. Under the old system, I could go to a message and hit the delete key. Now, as soon as I touch the message, WHAM! up it comes in the preview/reading pane. Yes, I know I can use the 'Select' capability, but sometimes it more of a hassle than just clicking the subject and hit delete.

It's bad enough on a dektop/laptop with a large screen, but on a cell phone or tablet, the application becomes unuseable. The preview/reading pane just takes up too much screen real estate.

And then there is the added 'bonus' of messages that sneak through the spam filter. Just what I need to see first thing in the morning... a naked butt advertising the latest in male enhancement products. Seriously, did anyone ever test this with real-world E-Mails to see the results? I doubt it.

Unless the ability to hide the preview/reading pane is brought back FAST, I will have no choice but to abandon my current ISP.

This type of change should never have made it out the door.
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Robert G. Replied
We have also had a lot of customers complaining about this. Its a feature every major email provider offers. I hope this is on the horizon. 
5
Craig M Replied
Same issue here.  In addtion to that, we also have a few MAPI clients using Outlook and while you can turn the reading pane off, it keeps coming back on randomly.  This was not an issue in Outlook before using MAPI.
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Ryan Wittenauer Replied
Adding another voice to this, we've had complaints as well. Why the silence?
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Sébastien Riccio Replied
Hello ST,

Can you please give us some answer about this so we can tell our customers waiting for more informations, if this is something coming back or not.
I've some bad feelings that some will change service if the answer is negative, but at least we're answering them with something else than "we don't know".

Kind regards
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

4
Rick Moses Replied
It has been 2 weeks since this thread was started. And still silence from SmarterTools. I can only hope that they are working to restore the capability to turn off the reading/preview pane. Sadly, reality usually tells a different story. As we are all being impacted financially due to lost business, maybe it's time to consider passing the losses on to SmarterTools. Just a thought.
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Ron Raley Replied
This thread will be ignored unfortunately.

We had always hoped emails could be displayed as a single line item. Instead, SmarterMail makes them 3 line items (height).

They could pack 3X more emails on the screen!

SmarterMail is a really powerful email engine, however, attention is needed on the user interface.

Ron
3
Rick Moses Replied
I suggest we start posting to https://portal.smartertools.com/community/a93253/welcome-the-new-smartermail.aspx#127990 which is the announcement of the new version.
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John Marx Replied
Don't post in another thread. That is the worst. From a developer's point of view, everything needs to stay on track. Yes, we want a response. Yes, this needs to get fixed. Yes, this is a security issue. And Yes, many of us are losing clients to this.

We need to stay on track. If our message is all over the place it shows we are not uniform in asking for the feature to be put back. This isn't a new feature. This gives us what we had as well as what the competition has.
2
Ryan Wittenauer Replied
Put in a ticket, this was the response:


"The ability to modify the preview pane, either by changing its orientation or removing it altogether, was used by less than 1% of our users. In addition, it caused significant overhead to provide those features, and this overhead reduced the mobile browser experience which is used by a much larger population of users. As we re-architect our product for various current devices and platforms, and as we plan for the future, we are evaluating all functionality, settings and features to simplify and improve the overall user experience. "
2
viv burrows Replied
Never a requirement for any of the companies we host for
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Ron Raley Replied
"and this overhead reduced the mobile browser experience"

Reminds me of the hundreds of PC gamers that booed Blizzard when they announced Diablo Immortal would only be available on mobile rather than a PC.

"Do you guys not have phones?"

Ron
4
John Marx Replied
I have a problem with 1% as a reason. I would imagine SmarterMail has more than one million users. But let's use one million as our number. This means that to SmarterTools that 10,000 of us do not matter.

What ELSE is at 1% so that we know what else is going to be "cut" and it better be ALL of it as 1% of this is the same as 1% of that. 

Now to even ask a bigger question about privacy. What else are they tracking of every one of our users and of those users is that information being sold?

4
Ryan Wittenauer Replied
Yeah, I would say 1 million is conservative. It's hard to accept that reasoning when it's a feature that most all other email platforms offer some kind of customization on.
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Sébastien Riccio Replied
I really don't understand why nobody from ST share some infors about this. Maybe they don't care ?
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

3
Rick Moses Replied
Wait, so they're saying that it is more overhead to NOT open a 3rd frame in the set and display the message? Now I've heard it all.  I've been involved in software design and programming for decades. If they're programming staff is saying that this is the reason, then I say their programmers need to learn how to code more efficiently. My guess is that they are pulling in a library and then modifying the hell of the returned data instead of creating a library routine to just return the basics. It should be a simple matter of ...

If blnReadingPane then
  create FrameRead; show message
End


4
Sébastien Riccio Replied
Anyone got news about this topic ?
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

8
Proto Replied
If ST were going to revisit this, I think a clear framework for evaluating options might be a good start -  especially if fleshing out the GUI to let users control them isn't practical.  Right up the top I think productivity would be a key.  For brevity I won't expand on that but I don't think consensus would be difficult to find.  In evaluating where a GUI has the potential to help increase productivity every bit of screen real estate counts, even well placed white space. 
 Every column and every field should serve a purpose - what do we gain by including this vs. what do we loose (or gain or make space for) by not including it?  Does a 3rd line just to display the size of the message offer anything of value for the space it takes up?  (just as an example).

Then, and this is important too, user expectations. Is it intuitive and easy to work in or will the need to train or explain along with frequent support tickets be the norm?  Does it follow industry standards/norms to help ensure it seems familiar and intuitive; or, if we deviate or introduce something new, does it truly bring something to the table?

Finally, has every update that would have a user do something differently, or see an altered default layout, been carefully considered?  Does the change become an Easter egg hunt or is there some sort of alert if things aren't obvious.   One of the larger complaints we hear about Microsoft's suite of products now are frivolous changes to the user interface where a user arrives in the morning, jumps in, in a hurry to catch up on a bunch of things, and familiar tools have moved or the user defaults have been abandoned or changed.

At the end of the day, I think it's about productivity and equally about user expectations - users seldom appreciate change unless it brings something to the table. Many oppose something going missing even if they didn't use it.    If they do come to the web interface, they are probably coming with familiarity with some other interface and, if there are norms, we might want to take them into consideration.  If we want to drag users from Outlook to make additional features available to them in the Web interface then an Outlook sort of look, although not essential, wouldn't be a bad start.  Using common Outlook configurations as a guide to the type of information that should be displayed might be a good start.  An example of that might be the way (and for which days) Outlook displays the time of messages as well as the date.  Important? - I honestly don't know, I don't use it, but many Outlook users would expect to see it there and the big drive in Enterprise has been to accommodate and attract just those users.  That group we've heard from ST is a minority but, at the same time, critical in the Enterprise market.
 
SmarterMail(tm) 17
MAPI over HTTP - Let's flesh it out with Exchange like features!
10
Sébastien Riccio Replied
Are we being ignored about this ? I don't understand nobody from ST answered this thread yet ... 
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

11
John Marx Replied
We are only 1% of the people that want. Our posting here is just for us to "vent" as they removed as they don't feel we want this or that 1% of the population are not worth the effort. :( We are now starting to move people off of SmarterMail that want this feature so the percent would be even lower now. Google and Microsoft I am sure are appreciating the new business.
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Jonas Soderblad Replied
We got the same answer reagrding why it was removed and it seems rather peculiar that their skilled programmers could not solve this. Among our customers far less than 1 % are using the mobile interface with their phones, but I am pretty sure more than 1 % will be contacting us regarding this "improvement" as about 25% our customers use the webinterface on their computers.

Please, reconsider...
1
Marc Frega Replied
Just open a ticket asking the same questions and they will answer.

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Millennium Systems Replied
+1 on bringing this feature back. We have quite a few customers complaining about this as well, which will lead to losing customers.
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Ron Raley Replied
Just today I noticed that Gmail placed the "Toggle Split Pane Mode" as an option on the top right. Users can select No Split, Vertical Split, or Horizontal Split.

Google seems to share the same vision with John F. Kennedy in 1962:

"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard"

I applaud Google developers.
5
Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
In the next public build release, we are re-adding the option for users to show or hide the preview pane. Please note that only the right-side preview pane will be available; the bottom pane is no longer an option.
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Ryan Wittenauer Replied
Glad to hear you listened to the community!
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Rick Moses Replied
That's GREAT NEWS Robert. THANK YOU! Can you give us a time frame of when that will happen?
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Paul Blank Replied
Doubling down on the refusal with flawed logic wasn't a real good idea. Thank you for re-considering. 

0
Millennium Systems Replied
Excellent, thanks for bringing this feature back.
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kevind Replied
@Robert, sounds good!  When the developers are in there updating the code, maybe make a few tweaks to the preview pane...

If it works better and has more features, more users might like leaving it on. Thanks.
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Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post
@Kevin, I have added your suggestions to our feature requests list for consideration.
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com

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