The Future of Email Gabor Cselle October 15, 2008 CSIRO / Macquarie
Background on Gabor <ul><li>MSCS, ETH Zurich on “Organizing Email” </li></ul><ul><li>Software Engineer at Google </li></ul...
Xobni <ul><li>Plugin for  Microsoft Outlook </li></ul><ul><li>“ Find that email  you’re looking for” </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
ISN’T EMAIL SOLVED?
Email volumes are rising … Billions of non-spam messages sent per day “ In 2008, average business user sent or received 15...
Emails Clients haven’t Changed
The 400M Pound Gorilla
Users are Drowning in Email <ul><li>Email overload  is now considered a  much bigger workplace problem than traditional em...
PROBLEMS
Whose Problems? <ul><li>I want to improve email for users who are: </li></ul><ul><li>LAZY </li></ul>
Whose Problems? <ul><li>I want to improve email for users who are: </li></ul><ul><li>LAZY </li></ul><ul><li>UNDISCIPLINED ...
Whose Problems? <ul><li>I want to improve email for users who are: </li></ul><ul><li>LAZY </li></ul><ul><li>UNDISCIPLINED ...
Three Big Problems in Email Prioritize Organize and Search Multiplex Emails have different levels of importance, urgency. ...
PRIORITY
My Inbox …
… Actually Important
Important vs. Urgent “ Your Amazon order has shipped” “ Please review the board slides this week” Not Urgent “ Guys, there...
How do you classify it? <ul><li>How do we find out what emails are important? </li></ul><ul><li>Some ideas: </li></ul><ul>...
“You’ve Got Mail”: Alerting <ul><li>No more “toast” for unimportant messages </li></ul><ul><li>Notify only on super import...
ORGANIZE & SEARCH
Coping with Folders Source: [6] Cheap but messy Search only No effort to delete or file email No filers Takes some effort,...
New Approaches <ul><li>Based on structure of data: </li></ul>Tasks Attachments Emails People Actions Conversations
New Approaches <ul><li>Based on structure of data: </li></ul>Xobni Gmail Outlook TaskMaster GTD Tasks Attachments Emails P...
Organize by People <ul><li>Xobni:  www.xobni.com </li></ul><ul><li>(and others, e.g. [7]) </li></ul>People Connected to Ad...
Organize by Task <ul><li>TaskMaster [8] </li></ul>
Organize by Next Action <ul><li>Getting things done (“GTD”) </li></ul>
This Reminds me of …
Improving Search <ul><li>Relevance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Best results on top </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand user intent...
MULTIPLEX
Many Sources of Data EMail SMS Blogs Twitter Facebook Unified communications
A Multiplexed Feed Twitter Email Blog entry
CONCLUSIONS
Conclusions <ul><li>Email will stop being a simple transport channel, but will add  filters to show you what’s important <...
REFERENCES
References <ul><li>Radicati Group,  www.radicati.com </li></ul><ul><li>Horvitz et al: Attention-Sensitive Alerting, UAI 19...
QUESTIONS? [email_address] www.gaborcselle.com
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Gabor Cselle - The Future of Email

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Email clients haven't moved forward since the mid-1990s. Most applications have added superficial features, but the basics remained unchanged: Folders, lists of disconnected emails sorted by arrival time. Clients have no sense of priority, urgency, workflows, or connectedness. Their search features are simple and are sometimes painfully slow. Users today are bombarded with email and find popular email clients hard to use and inefficient.

How did we get here? How do we get out of it? This talk will show new ideas of improving the email experience for overloaded users. Gabor will also talk about commercial opportunities in this field, illustrated with his own experience in Silicon Valley at his previous startup, Xobni, the maker of a popular Outlook-based application.

These are the slides from Gabor Cselle's presentation at CSIRO / Macquarie University on Oct 15, 2008. Thanks to Andrew Lampert for organizing the talk!

Published in: Technology

Gabor Cselle - The Future of Email

  1. The Future of Email Gabor Cselle October 15, 2008 CSIRO / Macquarie
  2. Background on Gabor <ul><li>MSCS, ETH Zurich on “Organizing Email” </li></ul><ul><li>Software Engineer at Google </li></ul><ul><li>VP Engineering at Xobni </li></ul><ul><li>Just started a new email company </li></ul>
  3. Xobni <ul><li>Plugin for Microsoft Outlook </li></ul><ul><li>“ Find that email you’re looking for” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People profiles </li></ul></ul>
  4. ISN’T EMAIL SOLVED?
  5. Email volumes are rising … Billions of non-spam messages sent per day “ In 2008, average business user sent or received 156 messages / day.” Source: Radicati Group [1]
  6. Emails Clients haven’t Changed
  7. The 400M Pound Gorilla
  8. Users are Drowning in Email <ul><li>Email overload is now considered a much bigger workplace problem than traditional email spam . - Wall Street Journal </li></ul><ul><li>The burden of managing all that e-mail has prompted a backlash. One extreme reaction is &quot; e-mail bankruptcy ,&quot; where users throw up their hands and erase their entire inboxes. - National Public Radio </li></ul>
  9. PROBLEMS
  10. Whose Problems? <ul><li>I want to improve email for users who are: </li></ul><ul><li>LAZY </li></ul>
  11. Whose Problems? <ul><li>I want to improve email for users who are: </li></ul><ul><li>LAZY </li></ul><ul><li>UNDISCIPLINED </li></ul>
  12. Whose Problems? <ul><li>I want to improve email for users who are: </li></ul><ul><li>LAZY </li></ul><ul><li>UNDISCIPLINED </li></ul><ul><li>AVERAGE </li></ul>
  13. Three Big Problems in Email Prioritize Organize and Search Multiplex Emails have different levels of importance, urgency. But email clients treat every email the same. Folders are not a natural way to organize emails. In today’s implementations, search is badly done. Pull in and synthesize information from various sources other than email. Make email universally accessible.
  14. PRIORITY
  15. My Inbox …
  16. … Actually Important
  17. Important vs. Urgent “ Your Amazon order has shipped” “ Please review the board slides this week” Not Urgent “ Guys, there’s cake at my desk” “ The servers are down” Urgent Not Important Important
  18. How do you classify it? <ul><li>How do we find out what emails are important? </li></ul><ul><li>Some ideas: </li></ul><ul><li>Machine learning [2] </li></ul><ul><li>Heuristics [3] </li></ul><ul><li>Reply prediction [4] </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>BiFrost, [3]
  19. “You’ve Got Mail”: Alerting <ul><li>No more “toast” for unimportant messages </li></ul><ul><li>Notify only on super important messages? </li></ul><ul><li>When should we interrupt the user ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Between task switches [5] </li></ul></ul>
  20. ORGANIZE & SEARCH
  21. Coping with Folders Source: [6] Cheap but messy Search only No effort to delete or file email No filers Takes some effort, temporary mess Intermittent clean-ups Spring Cleaners High mental burden, stress Daily passes to file or delete email Frequent filers
  22. New Approaches <ul><li>Based on structure of data: </li></ul>Tasks Attachments Emails People Actions Conversations
  23. New Approaches <ul><li>Based on structure of data: </li></ul>Xobni Gmail Outlook TaskMaster GTD Tasks Attachments Emails People Actions Conversations Outlook
  24. Organize by People <ul><li>Xobni: www.xobni.com </li></ul><ul><li>(and others, e.g. [7]) </li></ul>People Connected to Adam Conversations with Adam Files Exchanged with Adam
  25. Organize by Task <ul><li>TaskMaster [8] </li></ul>
  26. Organize by Next Action <ul><li>Getting things done (“GTD”) </li></ul>
  27. This Reminds me of …
  28. Improving Search <ul><li>Relevance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Best results on top </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand user intent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Andrew inbox” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Better UI </li></ul>
  29. MULTIPLEX
  30. Many Sources of Data EMail SMS Blogs Twitter Facebook Unified communications
  31. A Multiplexed Feed Twitter Email Blog entry
  32. CONCLUSIONS
  33. Conclusions <ul><li>Email will stop being a simple transport channel, but will add filters to show you what’s important </li></ul><ul><li>Email will stop being a file system but will be organized and displayed in new ways . Search needs to improve dramatically . </li></ul><ul><li>Email will stop being an island . We’ll bring in content from social networks, blogs, etc. </li></ul>
  34. REFERENCES
  35. References <ul><li>Radicati Group, www.radicati.com </li></ul><ul><li>Horvitz et al: Attention-Sensitive Alerting, UAI 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Baelter and Sidner: BiFrost Inbox Organizer, NordiCHI 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Dre dze et al: Intelligent Email: Reply and Attachment Prediction, IUI 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Smailagic et al: Task Interruptability Analysis, Technical Report, CMU, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Whittaker, Sidner: Email overload, CHI 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>Turski et al: Inner Circle, CHI 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Belotti et al: Taking email to task (TaskMaster), CHI 2003 </li></ul>
  36. QUESTIONS? [email_address] www.gaborcselle.com

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