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Email usability enhancements for 2020

Headshot of article author Craig Maas

Today, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the tremendous usability improvements made across the email surfaces during 2020 for both the April Wave and the recent October Wave releases.

User feedback-driven investment

We started our work with email in mid-2019 after reviewing user feedback and taking a deep look at the current experience. We found that our out-of-box email experience at that time was:

    • missing support for inline images
    • contained non-email centric formatting capabilities
    • had an outdated and cumbersome look and feel

We focused on fixing these core areas for the April 2020 Wave.  Based on  user feedback, we realized that the attachment experience was challenging  and involved too many clicks with no ability to manage multiple files at once. As we began working on the email editor, we knew the following would need to be updated:

    • email template builder
    • email signature experiences
    • file attachment experience

Due to the amount of work needed, we approached the full scope of work in stages.

Stage 1:  April 2020 release we focused on:

    • modernizing the email editor experience with updated email-centric formatting
    • adding a modern look-and-feel
    • providing end-to-end inline image support, including the ability to drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste the images.

Stage 2: October 2020 release we focused on:

    • improving the file attachment experience
    • modernizing the email template and signature builder experiences with the new formatting and inline image support
    • adding productivity enhancements when responding to email from the timeline
Where we are today
    • Provide a powerful and consistent rich text email experience with inline-image capability across our platform

You can now create and use richly formatted email templates that include inline image support that allows you to drag-and-drop, copy-and-paste, file browse, or create URL references. The new email template experience uses the same entity and schema as the legacy templates, so you can edit and update all of your current available templates.

The same improvements were also made for email signatures which means your existing signatures can now be updated to include inline images and improved formatting.  All of these new and improved capabilities are brought together when you create or respond to an email, resulting in a consistent and professional response every time. 

In the future we will be adding a maker option that allows you to configure your list of fonts, font sizes, and default fonts used across all email surfaces!

Email editor (April Wave 2020)

Email template builder (October Wave 2020)

Email signatures (October Wave 2020)

    • Easy-to-manage email attachments with multiple file management

We’ve made it easy to add, delete, or download multiple files for an email. If you receive an email with many attachments, you can quickly select all to download, or if they are image or PDF files, you can click to preview without the need to download.

We also introduced a new configuration for the attachment grid that allows you to display attachment files as horizontal tiles, giving you the ability to view images files at a glance as thumbnail.

These improvements reduce the number of clicks it takes to review attachments you receive or send in email.

Multiple file attachment and management (October Wave 2020)

Image thumbnails (October Wave 2020)

Preview for images and pdf (October Wave 2020)

    • Improve email on the timeline by making it easier to view and interact with each message

You can now view and respond to email directly from the timeline. Just a  click of the timeline record expands and displays the full email. New email specific actions allows you to initiate replies without having to open the email in the editor first. These actions save time and allow access to form data and details while reviewing the email.

You can take the email experience to the next level of flexibility by enabling the pop-up contextual email experience (also referred to as enhanced email). The pop-up experience lets you to respond to emails in a docked minimized, or maximized overlay window that still allows you to navigate to, review, and copy-and-paste data from the form or even other entities!

Email-specific actions allow you to reply, reply all, forward, and open emails (October Wave 2020)

New and existing emails can now use the popup contextual email experience (October Wave 2020)

We hope these improvements to the email experience help to streamline your productivity and  increase your professional appearance.  Your continued  feedback and helpful opinions are valuable, so keep talking!  Until next time, we’re listening!

Learn more in our email documentation.