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"Reply All" button icon looks too similar to "Reply" button icon



Mail Window Front End
14 years ago
2 years ago


(Reporter: Ben Goodger (use ben at mozilla dot org for email), Unassigned)


Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)



(1 attachment)

At a glance, the "Reply All" icon on the tbird toolbar in Qute looks too similar
to the "Reply" icon. 

Consider the similarities:

- both have washed out beige envelope that tends to blend with toolbar color
- bolder arrow pointing to the left indiciating "Reply"... the color difference
between the two (green and turquoise) is slight at best. 

Scott pointed out that "Reply All" has stacked envelopes and this is true, but
until Scott pointed this out I did not notice, since the envelopes don't
dominate the icon - the arrows do. 

The old 4.x icon was superior IMO in usability since Reply All used vertically
stacked double arrows, bold in color which highlighted the different function of
the button and made its function more obvious without text labels. The button
could be easily identified through peripheral vision and hit quickly without
needing to pause and identify the number of pale, stacked envelopes in the icon.

Comment 1

14 years ago
I agree that two arrows are easier to identify and also more intuitive, ie.
sending one message to multiple people (vs multiple messages to one person).

Comment 2

13 years ago
I am not sure if this is the right place to throw in this comment, so please let me know if it should be in a new issue.

I discovered a flaw when using the winstripe theme for Thunderbird, but the same  'problem' is also there with the standard theme.

I normally use the context menu to reply, but half an hour ago I unconsiously decided to click one of the buttons to reply to an e-mail. Yet without text it was somewhat difficult to find out which one I had to use (which might be somewhat of a first-user scenario):

What is reply, and what is forward? There are arrows to the left, and arrows to the right? So what? I'm not arabic myself, but I wouldn't be surprised to see arabs clicking the forward button to reply (the left-right, right-left issue). Downloading e-mail goes from up to down, which seems ok. So sending should be an arrow pointing upwards, right? I'd think that would be logical. Outlook express and evolution haven't made different choices than the designers of the themes I'm currently referring to. Still that shouldn't stop Mozilla for fixing things ;)

Reply could be one arrow up (just rotate the current arrow 90 degrees)
Reply to all, double (or tripple) arrows up (single enveloppe, see below*)
Forward should have a different looking icon and point up to. Maybe the reply buttons should have a icon showing a 'new' enveloppe (more glowy?), and the forward button should have normal icon.
Another alternative for a better forward button would be a somewhat other direction than just up.

Maybe it's only my believe that the internet=up and the end-users computer=down s a very strong metaphorical concept. So just consider the above as a suggestion.

* To keep this comment also closer to the topic starter's issue, about the double enveloppe thing discussed here (The winstripe theme I'm now using is more clear about the double enveloppe than the default theme, still). I agree that the double enveloppe is not a very good design choice either, since you're sending one email out to multiple persons (the outlook express icon is much better resembling the actual action, showing a arrow pointing to two people) instead of multiple e-mails to one person, right?. Ben's idea would be a good improvement over the current button (both in Winstripe as the default style).

Comment 3

12 years ago
The stackity of the envelopes should be more pronounced. I never noticed it until I read this (using small icons here).
QA Contact: front-end


10 years ago
Assignee: mscott → nobody
I suppose this won't be an issue once the new toolbar lands...
This bug makes a great point, precisely why we're avoiding these kinds of icons in favor of text only buttons.

Comment 6

7 years ago
Created attachment 520979 [details]
reply and reply all v3

WFM?  much better in current release.

"we're avoiding these kinds of icons in favor of text only buttons." unfortunately requires more space

Comment 7

2 years ago
I think we're better now
Last Resolved: 2 years ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME
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