Thesis Midterm // MailStream

In ITP, Thesis

I presented my midterm for MailStream in front of my thesis group, as well as our three panelists Emily Conrad, Taylor Levy and Batu Sayici. Instead of providing my slides without any context, here is a video of my presentation below.



Here’s a closer look at the prototypes I included as the screen contrast was way off during the presentation.




Lastly, I thought we had a great panel and I got some solid feedback from them. Here are my responses to the key points that each of them brought up.


Emily Conrad. Emily brought up that she felt the layout of the model I created still felt familiar and there is an opportunity to play around with it more. I totally understand where she’s coming from and that’s actually the mentality that I started with. However, as I spoke to more and more people I realized that email is a utilitarian tool and creating an interface that interferes with absorbing mass amounts of info becomes counter productive. I know that’s not what she was saying but it ultimately becomes the case when you modify the information architecture of email too much. In a similar vein, my goal is to create a visual way to distinguish emails that you haven’t dealt with yet while preserving the aforementioned utilitarian approach. 


Taylor Levy. Taylor had a bunch of interesting points. She mentioned that I should look into time management systems which I thought was a great parallel to email’s utilitarian model. I will most definitely do some research in that area. Also, per her recommendation, I will validate my questions about energy spent on promotional emails with more credible research as she said it was the one weak point of the presentation. Lastly, I thought her point on how sometimes she actually gets a positive sentiment when receiving an email from a friend and I’d like to think harder about how I can leverage positive emotions in an otherwise serious/dry environment.


Batu Sayici. While unfortunately Batu was cut off due to time constraints, he had some very pragmatic comments. He said I should clearly explain who I’m designing for and include some competitive benchmarking. I plan to add both of these going forward.


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