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Visual Metaphors

  • Flags (versus Stars) - Messages in IMAP can be \Flagged. UX/VD have chosen to represent this as a flag in the Gaia e-mail app. In Thunderbird and some other mail clients, including gmail, a star icon is used to represent this state instead.
    • Complications: Localized folder names. GMail exposes a "Starred" (virtual) folder which contains all Flagged/Starred messages. The US localization of this by gmail is "Starred". Because we want to localize all special folders that we understand, we (are going to) override gmail's choice of localization to be "Flagged" so things make more sense.
    • Short-and-sweet response for closing bugs requesting changes in our behaviour: "Our current metaphor is the flag and we cannot create multiple metaphors depending on the service… otherwise it will be very confusing."
  • Folder Icons only for sub-folders and not for the root folders: "But the original intent of the folder icon was to a) differentiate subfolders and b) help with the visual alignment." source