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Old 16 Jul 2019, 04:11 PM   #1
rabarberski
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feature request: smart up/down direction when deleting mails

A feature request, applicable when I use the Android fastmail app

Problem:
When going through and cleaning up mails in a folder, I sometimes start not at the top (=most recent mail), but rather somewhere in the middle of my list (e.g. just above the last mail I have already read). I then quickly read an email and decide to delete it or not (or move it somewhere). The next mail displayed is then always the older one, rather than a more recent one. I then have to click the "up arrow". After when the scenario repeats itself...

Suggestion:
When deleting/moving an email, the next messageto be displayed should follow the last direction indicated by the user that has pressed the up or down button (relatively). If no up or down button has been pressed yet, the default could be either (a) down, or (b) remembered from last session.
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Old 17 Jul 2019, 08:25 AM   #2
Grhm
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That's a really neat idea.
I suggest you bring it to the attention of Fastmail by raising a support ticket.
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Old 19 Jul 2019, 03:35 PM   #3
rabarberski
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Quote:
I suggest you bring it to the attention of Fastmail by raising a support ticket.
FYIO: Did that just now
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Old 19 Jul 2019, 08:08 PM   #4
rabarberski
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I (already!) got feedback from the fastmail support team.
They gave me the following answer:

Quote:
You can control this behavior using a setting. On your app Tap More->Settings and go-to Preferences. Tap on show advanced preferences and change the "Navigation" settings to Mailbox/Next?previous Conversation.
While it isn't as flexible as the solution I had in mind, changing the setting from "next conversation" to "previous conversation" at least improves the situation for me.

I do wonder however, who will find this very hidden preference by its own.
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Old 20 Jul 2019, 05:21 PM   #5
JeremyNicoll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabarberski View Post
I do wonder however, who will find this very hidden preference by its own.
??

It's not hidden at all; it's at Settings -> Preferences -> Advanced.

That's exactly where you would expect to find a preference that's not an everyday one.

When you start using a new application (or whatever) do you not explore the preferences available?
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Old 20 Jul 2019, 05:55 PM   #6
rabarberski
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Quote:
I do wonder however, who will find this very hidden preference by its own.
I think my above statement wasn't accurately reflecting what I meant.
I had not expected that there was going to be a setting to decide on the navigation direction after deleting an email. I would have expected it to "just work" (i.e. navigating into the direction I was going through my emails), thereby also avoiding the need to have a setting.
So, when I wrote the above statement, what I meant was that I don't think many people will go into the settings menu searching for something to fix this specific navigation "issue".
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Old 21 Jul 2019, 03:17 AM   #7
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabarberski View Post
I think my above statement wasn't accurately reflecting what I meant.
I had not expected that there was going to be a setting to decide on the navigation direction after deleting an email. I would have expected it to "just work" (i.e. navigating into the direction I was going through my emails), thereby also avoiding the need to have a setting.
So, when I wrote the above statement, what I meant was that I don't think many people will go into the settings menu searching for something to fix this specific navigation "issue".
In fairness, when you select a message in the middle of the message list and subsequently delete it, it may be obvious to you which direction you are using to go through the messages, but the website cannot read your mind. You could argue that the code could detect when it had previously made the wrong assumption (perhaps, by keeping statistics on frequency of forward and backward navigation through message lists) but this kind of approach becomes pretty complicated.

A possible idea could be to go forward if the next message is unread, backwards if the previous message is unread, and navigate to the nearest unread message if neither next or previous is unread. Again, complicated/
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Old 21 Jul 2019, 03:27 PM   #8
rabarberski
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Originally Posted by BritTim View Post
In fairness, when you select a message in the middle of the message list and subsequently delete it, it may be obvious to you which direction you are using to go through the messages, but the website cannot read your mind./
To be honest, the "smart" navigation approach I suggested isn't my own idea. I've seen it used (and enjoy using it) in various email clients.

I just checked, and indeed Apple Mail (version 9.3) has smart navigation, and it works as follows (at least from my experience, I can't know how it works under the hood):
  1. Assume a list of 10 messages; let's call the top-most message number 1, and bottom-most message number 10
  2. The user selects/opens a message in the middle of the list, say message number 5
  3. The user presses delete
  4. Since the client's (initial) default navigation direction is "down", the next message being shown is number 6
  5. However, since the user actually wants to go "up" in the list, he/she presses the "up" navigation button.
  6. As a result, message number 4 is now shown. Also (this is the "smart" part!), the client now sets the navigation direction as being "up".
  7. The user presses delete (to delete message 4)
  8. Since the navigation direction was set as "up", the next message being shown is number 3. Just like the user wants it.
So, the user has to "correct" the direction only once (by pressing the "up" button in step 5) and from then on the client continuous navigation in the same direction.
In the current Fastmail client, in step 8 the message number 6 would be shown again, requiring the user to press "up" after each delete

Of course, the smart navigation adapts when the user changes his direction (by pressing the "down" button)


Quote:
A possible idea could be to go forward if the next message is unread, backwards if the previous message is unread, and navigate to the nearest unread message if neither next or previous is unread. Again, complicated/
I agree that the unread/read based algorithm would be complicated and confusing. But to our luck, we don't need it, as a simple algorithm is available :-)
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Old 9 Aug 2019, 03:50 PM   #9
rabarberski
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Just posting a follow-up on the FM support team suggestion to change the direction (see above).
This isn't really practical either. Sometimes I do start my actions on the top mail; then deleting it brings me back to the message list, rather than the next message.
So ... eagerly awaiting the smart navigation feature...
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