Buffy/Mozilla: Mail and Newsgroups

UI Specification

Message Views

Last Modification: 

Author: Jennifer Glick 
Creation Date: 12  September 2002

Status: Mostly Complete


Main Mail Window
Message Views
Message View Setup
Save Search Query as a Msg View

Feature Team


 Scott Putterman, Scott MacGregor, Samir Gehani, Seth Spitzer  


 Gregg Landskov, Rafael Ebron




 Robin Foster Clark


 Jennifer Glick

Please post all comments and suggestions regarding this spec to the newsgroup, netscape.public.mozilla.mail-news.


Open Issues

  1. Check wordings stuffs w/Robin.



  1. 74432 - View menu has Watch/Ignore for mail, feature is news only
  2. 156930 - Views: Need better handling of Next in this case for QuickSearch,Watched View
  3. 180019 - mailviews: if you cancel when trying to create a custom mail view, it leaves the picker in a bad state - Fixed.
  4. 180140 - mailviews: biff mailview to rebuild, unexpected results - jen to comment in bug, dup of 180203?
  5. 180203 - mailviews: junk mail appears in not junk view - nsbeta1
  6. 183331 - Message Views feature: UI Nits - nsbeta1
  7. 183363 - Views Feature: Save a Search query as a View - Future.
  8. 183591 - Add View and Search for Messages with attachments - Fixed.
  9. 187990 - mailviews - dropdown out of sync if view set in View|Messages - nsbeta1+
  10. 188404 - MailViews: OK Msg Views dialog and "Customize..." remains - nsbeta1
  11. 188407 - MailViews: View dropdown shouldn't show "Customize..." as a View - nsbeta1
  12. 189490 - Mailview should be remembered through exit.
  13. 180394 - mailviews] ctrl + a doesn't work after I switch views (focus is in the wrong page?) - nsbeta1+
  14. 186162 - mailviews - "People I DON'T Know" isnt working properly. Unconfirmed.
  15. 186166 - mailviews - Allow SORT of custom mail views. Unconfirmed/Future.
  16. 189493 - Quicksearch and mailviews don't play well together - clear QS via backspace.
  17. 189543 - Mailviews: View dropdown menu items should be in View:Messages Menu. adt1, nsbeta1+



"Message Views" is a feature which will help users locate, organize and prioritize their mail messages. A View is used to filter and display only those messages matching a given set of criteria. We will ship with a set of pre-defined Views, but users can also create their own.

Design Details

1. Main Mail Window

  1. Default is "All"
  2. "View" dropdown has "Customize..." option at bottom of list.
  3. When the user selects "Customize..." the "Message Views" dialog opens. If user cancels the Message Views dialog, the View menu should return to its previous selection. If the user leaves the Message Views dialog open, but switches focus back to the Main Mail Window, the View menu should return to its previous selection.


2. Menus - in progress

Need a main menu location for new Msg Views feature. View: Messages seems logical choice, especially since it already contains some Views items like "All" and "Unread". Problem is what to do with existing Threaded related menu items. Do they become part of Msg Views feature or separate from it? Should Threaded items be in there own menu item and separate from Views? Or should Threading interact with Views, and if so, how? Is a Threads with Unread with Labels something we think is valuable to users?


a. Existing Menu

  1. Views and Thread items combined.
  2. First 4 items are radio menus (one selection only), 5th is checkbox menu (on/off), 6th and 7th are action menu items.
  3. Msg View items are radio menus only. (on selection at a time allowed).



b. Option 1

  1. Group all the Threading type stuffs together in a separate menu.



c. Option 2 - Approved

  1. Combine Thread and Msg View items
  2. Added Threaded items to View dropdown if time.
  3. Selecting a Msg View cancels a Threaded View and selecting a Threaded View cancels a Msg View.
  4. Bug - Ignored and Watched only show in News.
  5. Ignored is a toggle.


3. Message Views

  1. Move Up, Move Down - Lets you reorder the Views. The order they appear here is the order they appear in the "View" Quick Search bar dropdown and in the "View: Messages" menu.
  2. Wording: should the dialog have any descriptive wording? Message Filters does not. 


4. Message View Setup

Opens from Message Views dialog, "New" or "Edit".

  1. Message view name: default to "Untitled 1", etc.
  2. Modal to Message Views dialog.


5. Save Search Query as a Msg View (Future - not yet implemented)

Once a minimum of one criteria row has been defined, "Save As Message View" button is enabled.


Clicking the "Save As Message View" button opens the Save As Message View dialog, which is used to name the View.

  1. Modal to Search dialog.
  2. OK - View is created and name added to bottom of View menu. User returns to Search dialog.
  3. Cancel - View is not created. User returns to Search dialog.


6. Default Views

Views already customized with which we want to ship. Most value for users "out of the box". Especially since this may be more difficult for novice/average users to setup on their own




All messages


Unread messages 


Read messages

People I Know 

In any Local AB 

Personal AB

PAB only

Today/Most Recent 

Today's Msgs

Last 5 Days

Last 5 Days



Msgs with Attachments 

Show only msgs with Attachments 




7. Preferences - Future

The "View" menu is located on the Quick Search Bar. If the user decides to not show the QS bar, the View menu is not shown either.

Optional: Option to remove "View" menu from QS bar.