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Old 10 Mar 2020, 11:35 PM   #16
Junkle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickadee View Post
In my opinion, the new font is, without question, aesthetically less pleasing. Is there any "good" reason why the software engineers at FastMail might have felt the need to change the font? I ask this question of the forum members who are programmers.
I'm not a software engineer, so it won't answer your question, but my comment might represent a useful thought.

Companies are always under pressure to make things "better", while rapidly losing sight of what that actually means. "Better" rapidly gets conflated with "change for change's sake"; ie, look busy! Here's the problem. If, in a first iteration, something hits on all requirements to a 95% success level, it becomes highly improbable that subsequent changes --- especially major ones --- will increase that measure to 96%, and so on. More probable is that a regression will result. This is a fancy way of saying, "If it works, don't fix it".

Unfortunately, this flies directly in the face of demands to look like business is "constantly adapting to suit your changing needs in a challenging marketplace" or some such tripe. "If it works, don't fix it" is somewhat antithetical to the "look busy" paradigm.
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Old 10 Mar 2020, 11:35 PM   #17
TenFour
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I suspect there is not a good programming reason for the use of Proxima Nova, but instead there are good design reasons to utilize the same fonts throughout the online offerings. For example, they use it on their main web pages too. It is good design to be consistent, and allowing people to select different fonts adds all sorts of design issues, and can "break" the look of a page. Not being a current FM customer I can't comment on what the webmail interface looks like, but FM's public website looks really great and is head and shoulders above most email providers. Very readable too. Here's more information on Proxima Nova.
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Old 10 Mar 2020, 11:40 PM   #18
jtmusson
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Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
Very interesting reading, thank you!
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Old 10 Mar 2020, 11:43 PM   #19
Junkle
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Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
You mean someone's actually PAYING for this font?
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Old 10 Mar 2020, 11:46 PM   #20
TenFour
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General observation. Lots of companies ignore good design and/or don't let UI designers do their stuff, which is why most of the Web looks horrible and is harder to use than it needs to be. Good design is part art and part science, and is hard to achieve.
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Old 10 Mar 2020, 11:54 PM   #21
Junkle
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Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
General observation. Lots of companies ignore good design and/or don't let UI designers do their stuff, which is why most of the Web looks horrible and is harder to use than it needs to be. Good design is part art and part science, and is hard to achieve.
I couldn't agree more. I've been using the web since very near day 0, so to see what's happened makes me shake my head. "Dumbing down", as mentioned previously, is sadly a good way to put it, angry though it may be. I wish it weren't that way. I long for days where there was lots of text and information was dense. Now, we're way over on the other extreme. We're left wondering sometimes if a significant amount of UI users can only understand symbols!
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:00 AM   #22
TenFour
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The early Web wasn't all that well designed.
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:10 AM   #23
JeremyNicoll
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I'm another Firefox user, and I also don't like the new font - I agree it somehow looks blurry especially in bold.

In the message list, where one can see the first line of each email, I find myself squinting at characters that seem to be smaller than they used to be. I'm typically now viewing the page at a FF zoom of 110%. That's going to be a damn nuisance.

I don't care about that in the folder list because, after all, I named the folders and know what they are. But why should I have to squint at everything else?

I'm 60. My eyesight is not perfect. Could it be that whoever picked the new fonts (and their sizes) is young?


Edited: I raised a ticket. I dare say that FM might not say anything helpful. But everyone who dislikes the change should raise a ticket. It's the only way that FM will actually know that those who don't like the change don't like it.

Last edited by JeremyNicoll : 11 Mar 2020 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:23 AM   #24
JeremyNicoll
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Originally Posted by misc View Post
They did. Everyone had the chance to test it on beta.fastmail.com and provide feedback.
How were we meant to know that existed?

Yes, I've seen it mentioned /here/, mainly in threads about apps.

But where was FM's notification of its existence, notes on how to use it, info on whether or not anything set within it would affect use of the current interface, and so on?
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:31 AM   #25
earlybird
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Just today I noticed the font change, too.

I have the issue that while the new font looks maybe fine, the rendering in my browser of webfonts in general is slightly blurry and not very good (Firefox 74 on a rolling Linux distribution). It's why I was using the "System font" fallback as long as it was possible.

I'm tired of type foundries throwing their web fonts at sites for a lot of money while the rendering of those fonts is not very good. For example, I have bought a lot of expensive, high-quality type faces and have them installed on my computer for on-screen & print use, and they render perfectly and sharply, while the corresponding web font is always atrocious. I had this issue with Source Sans Pro (installed version vs webfont from Fastmail), Proxima Nova, Open Sans etc pp.

It's annoying to have to do this but Fastmail has actually a very well designed web app. You can override the complete website font without breaking icons etc by just applying a user style (with e.g. the Stylus Firefox extension) that contains:


html {
font-family: sans-serif;
}


to use your browser default or really any other locally installed font. No !important or other overrides necessary. The resulting look consistent across the email/calendar/contact/files/preferences views.

Another way would be to block loading of web fonts for Fastmail altogether. Looking at the source code, they'll fall back to some Apple stuff, Segoe UI, Arial, and then sans-serif.

Last edited by earlybird : 11 Mar 2020 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Use Stylus as the Firefox addon, NOT STYLISH. Stylish was bought up by an adware company and is now spyware. Don't use it.
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:40 AM   #26
Junkle
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Originally Posted by earlybird View Post
You can override the complete website font without breaking icons etc by just applying a user style (with e.g. the Stylish Firefox extension) that contains:


html {
font-family: sans-serif;
}


to use your browser default or really any other locally installed font. No !important or other overrides necessary. The resulting look consistent across the email/calendar/contact/files/preferences views.
Could we trouble you to show us how this would be done? I've installed Stylish, but don't really know where to go from there. Thanks!
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:42 AM   #27
deanchapman
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OMG what a disaster, on Chrome on PC and Android, this new UI is truly awful and has removed ALL that I loved about the simplistic interface of fastmail.
The new font looks blurry and reduces what can be presented, this reduction is very marked on the Android APP. What does it actually improve ?

Why oh why, have you fallen into this drive to ever improve and increase functionality
- And what's this silly scaling "INBOX" title all about on Android APP - I KNOW IT'S MY INBOX

Why oh why did you not just keep-it-simple, it's an email app - That's all, no more
- It did it well, now it doesn't and I hate it

Seriously, I have been a paid fastmail user for as long as I can remember - If this is the way that fastmail is going now, then bye bye
- I hate it and I'll no longer be a part of it
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:45 AM   #28
Junkle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyNicoll View Post
How were we meant to know that existed?

Yes, I've seen it mentioned /here/, mainly in threads about apps.

But where was FM's notification of its existence, notes on how to use it, info on whether or not anything set within it would affect use of the current interface, and so on?
The change of the interface is the source of the frustration. The way fastmail has treated its paying customers is the source of the anger. I didn't know, either. One wonders if they didn't pay $$$ for this crazy font, but then got some $ knocked off if they agreed to exclusivity, ie making Proxima the only available font. We were thrown under the bus.
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:46 AM   #29
Berenburger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M4rk4y View Post
Also did the folder list always have the icons? I don't remember them but maybe that's just the new font making them look far too much in your face. I don't need icons to tell me that I'm looking at a list of folders, so an option to turn them off would be nice (don't tell me, there was one but they removed that too?)
Yes, they were in the Standard themes, but there were never icons in the folder list in the Minimal theme. Now I have them.
BTW. Font/UI is very good looking on iPhone/iPad, but bad on desktop.
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Old 11 Mar 2020, 12:47 AM   #30
Junkle
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Originally Posted by deanchapman View Post

Why oh why did you not just keep-it-simple, it's an email app - That's all, no more
- It did it well, now it doesn't and I hate it
... because business is constantly improving to adapt to your needs in this challenging marketplace. /s
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