Design & Positioning
We made great strides in design and development with many more updates and changes on the way. It’s a lot of work, but we love this project and seeing Mailbird improve everyday. Our private beta and early release groups are growing and a big thank you for all the tremendous feedback. The ideas have been inspirational, and what is cool is that it allows users to be a part of the process in designing how they would like to manage email productivity. We love that people feel compelled to support the clean and simple email experience with Mailbird. We have also been experimenting with different slogans that define Mailbird and your input has been really interesting. Great ideas out there from people who are seeking a better email solution, which has also helped us understand how our app will be set to develop over time, and plan for some desirable feature releases. Design is important to us. It is what brings the experience of email with Mailbird full circle.
One of the challenges is choosing the right approach to integrating our app to the modern style in which Windows 8 apps are packaged, which is why we look forward to a collaborative Windows 8 development workshop in Bandung, Indonesia early next year. People care about style, design, and the feeling they have when they interact with software. Look at the major email companies out there, that are web email focused. Hotmail has re-branded as outlook.com with a fresh metro style. In July this year AOL made an attempt to retain 24 million users with redesigning their email to a sharper look. Google is experimenting with the new Gmail compose style, even Yahoo has initiated a new appearance and set up for their web mail. Our team is excited to be a part of this email evolution; to be ahead of the game, to rival web mail and current desktop email that remains stagnant. With Mailbird, we are determined to serve a fresh plate of quality, clean design, and smooth desktop email interaction.
Mailbird Right Now…
Fixing all the those little surprises. We’ve been presented opportunities for improvement because we are listening. It’s all about what people want out of the Mailbird experience. We are in the process of adapting the whole UI so when Mailbird detects if a user is running Windows 8, the app modifies to the Windows 8 style. This gives the app an even more razor sharp and clean cut polished feel. In addition to our minimalist design that eliminates distracting buttons and objects typically seen on other email apps, we are continuously looking for new ways for Mailbird to act as your “digital assistant” as put by one of our private users.
The creative space at the Mailbird headquarters in Bali is where we have fun brainstorming and building the best email app.
We discuss features, types of productivity apps to host in the Mailbird nest based on user stories, and functionality upgrades that make email more intuitive. So what are some of the ideas the Mailbird team is exploring? Here are a few suggestions we’ve received thus far:
1) Special folders to easily prioritize emails like “Take action now.”
2) Premium integrated apps like Evernote
3) Broadening social networking integration with a potential Twitter app
4) Buckets for your contacts list so you can focus your email usage based on personal vs. business
5) Multi-identity support or customized signature selection depending on who you are emailing
6) Offer voting for apps in the “app store” inside Mailbird, providing you with a one stop shop for your digital life
7) Dynamic Home Screen that personally greets you and identifies which emails need your attention first
8) Email Security Lock to keep your emails secure when you walk away from your computer
9) Productivity Coach that helps you be efficient, productive, and simply email better
10) Quick video or audio (you choose) email response bringing a stronger feeling of human interaction and fun that is missing from email
The Mailbird Beta Tester Voice
All the creative email options are wonderful, and we cannot wait to really dig deeper with them. For now, we’d like to get to know you. Mailbird users are the future of email. We are processing, chopping, and iterating all those brilliant ideas being sent our way. Even though we’d love to integrate many of the ideas we’ve already received, it would be close to impossible to do it all. So for now our main focus is to listen and learn from private beta response, while paying close attention to repeat suggestions. Our current state of development is fully centered on stabilizing Mailbird through bug fixes, ensuring email functionality is as seamless as possible.
Just when we think the code has been perfected for a single email function, a new unique scenario sneaks up on us, so it is back to the drawing board. Tech savvy developers using an early release version of Mailbird love it, they want it to be amazing too. We open the invitation to developers who would like to get involved by creating some cool “must have” apps for email. We are lucky when we hear things from developers like,
“They deserve lots of kudos for trying to build an email client.” — A. Fathoni
These unique users understand what it takes to create email software, and it’s not easy. Curious about our bird? Then consider pre-ordering Mailbird. This perpetuates our efforts in optimizing the app, while at the same time giving users privileged support and access. In the natural cycle of software development, the beginning seems to always be the toughest, between bug fixing, implementing, releasing updates, discovering new bugs, pulling software back in, fixing again, then releasing again. It’s a vicious cycle, but we gain a better understanding of Mailbird users and how to improve everyday, which is awesome.
Mailbird Moving Forward
Our current road map is set to fine tune and stress test the app so it is more stable, to get Mailbird ready for our private Windows 8 users who have been waiting patiently, thank you! We have worked through solutions and options for multi-identity support, a direct request from many of our phenomenal private beta participants. Hold tight, its coming soon. Finally, we will be working on polishing the app so our bird is ready to sky rocket into the air when publicly released. We have private users speckled all over the world, and we held our breath to overcome the hiccup that was enabling Mailbird to sync with Gmail without having to set the Gmail language to English. Problem solved. Additionally we have made some pleasing mini UI updates that we hope earns us your thumbs up. Let’s just say, Mailbird has gone through some serious stress testing, it’s been through the ringer. With our latest release, version 188.8.131.52, every blood, sweat, and tear we put into it will let you know your email is working hard for you. Follow closely, as there will be some potential early access opportunities to Mailbird in the near future. That means you get it before anyone else who will have to wait for our public beta release. Get closer to experiencing Mailbird when you complete the sentence,
As we release the private beta to new users every week, we look forward to connecting with you soon. Check out ideas from supporters for fun one liners that capture the vision of email with Mailbird here.
Until next time, ciao!