Poking through the Windows blog this weekend, I stumbled across an August 5 posting by Michael Kopcsak entitled “A behind-the-scenes look at designing the new Hotmail: part two.” Part 1 of this series ain’t bad, but Part Two gets into some useful nitty-gritty details. There’s some great suff on message filtering and cleaning up inbox (or folder) clutter using button controls, and a great explanation as to how the filtering mechanisms were designed (and work) to be simple, straightforward, and easy to access.
You’ll also find some peachy explanations of Hotmail navigation and UI behavior, including search, IM controls, and message threading tools. You’ll get an improved understanding of how message history works, and how overall threaded conversations fit and work together inside the Hotmail interface. You’ll get some geat survey results on how the Hotmail default view was designed, and what kinds of user input over time helped to drive design decisions (and a good explanation of why you can organize emails by conversations but why that wasn’t chosen as the default view).
It may not signify much for those who use a different email package (Windows Live Mail, Outlook, Gmail, or whathaveyou) but for those in the Hotmail embrace, it’s really great stuff!