Mo' Bettah Email


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Research and Development Proposal

Prepared by: Jeff Barr, Corey Murata & Lynne Watanabe
COM 569: Communication in Video Games and Virtual Worlds
Winter 2012

We propose to develop an email client interface that uses layers of data visualization and game mechanics. The client will make it easier for the user to identify high priority email that needs to be addressed and make strategic decisions about how best to use their time to attend to email. Additionally, the game mechanic will provide immediate feedback and gratification to the user to encourage them to continue working on their email. Finally a social component will allow the user to share their success at ‘battling’ their inbox with their friends on social networks.

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  • Image 1: If you were using email 20 years ago, it probably would have looked something like this.Image 2: Today, it might look more like this. There have been some improvements around the edges but it’s still pretty much an ordered list, usually in chronological order with very little facility for identifying or prioritizing action. And what’s worse you probably don’t have 28 messages in your inbox, you may have 280, or 2,800.
  • So we took the chore of doing email and built It into a game
  • There are a few examples of email ‘games’ but they only try to solve the email management by adding a point scoring, time trial or bragging element.These games are email management, not true game by McGonagal’s definition
  • The other attempt to make something more interesting out of email is using data visualization to help manage emailProblem with previous email gamesMcGonagal: Gamification trends focus on awarding game-like points and badges for completing real-world tasks"Instead of thinking about the things we can do to make something look like a game, what can we do to make something feel like a game?“Four Traits: Positive Emotion, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment "As we are trying to make the real world more gameful, any of our organizational goals need to be achieved by empowering the players to get more of what they really want from life."
  • Our fist step was to use multi-variate data visualization to better represent the email in the inbox.
  • Our game: First we have multiple layers of data visualization to both organize and help strategize how to attack your emailFalling objects color coded and clustered along x-axis based on topic. Color hue indicates age of message (darker is more recent).Special people – people that you email with frequently get their own special shape.Size of object indicates weighted value of the email (heavier weight – part of an ongoing thread, indication in text of email that a response is required, Size of the buildings below indicate how many messages in each thread.
  • Cloud layer represents backlog of old messages. As messages fade in color they eventually fade into the cloud.
  • Mo' Bettah Email

    1. 1. From: Jeff Barr; Corey Murata; Lynne WatanabeTo: Ken RufoCc: COM 569 (Communication in Video Games and Virtual Worlds)Subject: Mo Bettah EeeMailEmail sucks!We made it Mo Bettah!
    2. 2. Subject: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail
    3. 3. Subject: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail
    4. 4. Subject: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail Many email ‘games’ are just email management tools. -JB > Existing email games suck! Ours is Mo Bettah! -CM Name: Gmail Game Boomerang 0Boxer InboxscoreEmail: Gmail only Gmail/Outlook & Gmail only Gmail/Yahoo Google appsFeatures: • “Game” • Management Tool • “Game” • “Game” • Timer to limit • Schedules send • Pts for organizing •Leaderboard procrastination • Follow up reminders • Rewards • Deducts points • Leaderboard for • No social real-time ranking
    5. 5. Subject: Re: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMailLook other people are doing email data visualization too! –LW> Their data viz sucks! Ours is Mo Bettah! -CM
    6. 6. Subject: Re: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMailNot Bettah Enough! We can make it Even Mo Bettah! –LW> See! This is Mo Bettah! -CM
    7. 7. Subject: Fwd: Re: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail(Attachment: MoBettahEmail.png img/png)
    8. 8. Subject: Fwd: Re: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail(Attachment: MoBettahEmail.png img/png)
    9. 9. Subject: Re: (Fwd: Re: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail)My monster is Mo Bettah! -LW(Attachment: AngryMonster.png img/png)
    10. 10. Subject: Re: (Fwd: Re: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail)(Attachment: MoBettahEmail.png img/png)
    11. 11. Subject: Re: Re: (Fwd: Re: Re: Mo Bettah EeeMail)(Attachment: AngryMonsterHappyMonster.png img/png)
    12. 12. Reply All