MackV/Mozilla: Mail and News

UI Specification


Last Modification:

Author: Jennifer Glick 
Creation Date: 3 July 01

Status: Draft/Proposal



Feature Team


 Scott Putterman 


 Kevin Murray


 Esther Goes


 Robin Foster Clark 


 Jennifer Glick





  1. Priority column would need to give up color, and use some other indicator (maybe icons) instead of colored text to indicate priority.  (For example, high priority would be an envelope with an exclamation.  Would need icons created.)
  2. Need icon for "Label" column.
  3. Do we want to allow users to change the names of labels? Probably yes.
  4. Do we want to allow users to modify the colors of each label? Not sure. If they change the colors, there maybe issues with the header color and the selection highlight color 
  5. Do we limited the number of labels to 5 or do we allow users to create more labels?




As people continue to get more and more email messages on a daily basis, they are continually looking for ways to organize and prioritize it all. Flagging messages is a useful method but looses its effectiveness as more and more messages pile up.  The Labels feature provides users with a method to use color to help them group, organize and prioritize their messages. Each color is also given a label name as well, which the user can change.  An optional Label column is available for sorting by Label and also for making this feature available to users with color deficiencies.  

Users would also be able to setup filters in which the resulting action is to mark a message with a particular Label.  For example, users could create a filter to mark all new messages from a particular person with the "red" Label.


Design Details

Using the "Message --> Label" menu, users can assign a label value to message headers. A message can have only one label at a time. Selecting another label for a message which already has a label will change the message header to the new label.  Selecting a label already chosen for a particular message will removed the label.



A message with a label is displayed in the Thread Pane with its header the color of the selected label.  There is an optional "Label" column which can be displayed and used to sort messages according to Label.



Default names and color values for Labels are chosen. Using the preference settings, users can customize the names of the Labels as well as the colors that are associated which each Label.

(We can limit the number of labels to 5, or we can also allow users to create completely new labels in addition).


Clicking a color button above opens the Label Color dialog and enables users to select a new color.


Create Filters using Labels as Action

Users can also use the filters feature to have certain message headers automatically marked with labels.

Note: if users can change the names and/or colors of labels, or add new labels, is that difficult to implement (show in a dropdown list)?