Personas for Email Messages

Here’s a thought (I had in the middle of a dream about brightly garbed superheroes): use Personas to style email messages in Thunderbird! It’d be a simple way to easily add some style to your messages to friends and family, highlighting your current mood, your perennial interests, or the subject of the message.

A dramatization mockup:

There are some tricky issues, like how to select a background color for the message that blends in attractively with the bottom of the header image. And it’s not clear if the footer image is useful in this case.

But overall the idea seems quite promising. What do you think? And, if you’re a Mozilla extension hacker (or would like to become one), would you be interested in prototyping it?


Myk Melez

Myk is a Principal Software Architect and in-house entrepreneur at Mozilla. A Mozillian since 1999, he's contributed to the Web App Developer Initiative, PluotSorbet, Open Web Apps, Firefox OS Simulator, Jetpack, Raindrop, Snowl, Personas, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Bugzilla. He's just a cook. He's all out of bubblegum.


11 thoughts on “Personas for Email Messages

  1. Please, don't reintroduce the 'Stationery' from the 1990s. A simple gradient, maybe with some lines that deviate slightly from the dominating colour, would suffice.

  2. As long as I don't need to view all that HTML email crap from others and can switch to viewing messages on _my_ client the way _I_ want, I'm happy. Your proposal seems to go down the other road of enforcing my personal stale to others, I don't think they necessarily would like that…

  3. Oh dear. Please, no. Email is for communicating, not for sending 1990s Geocities pages back and forth. Thunderbird shouldn't be Outlook Express. I'm not even sure it should default to sending HTML email.

  4. This was a sarcastic post, wasn't it? It's something you would absolutely loath and that's what you're trying to tell us, no?

  5. Please don't encourage people to write these kind of emails again. I thought the 90s were over 🙁

  6. I'm not an email-is-only-text priest as someone of the above commentators.

    I think that HTML+CSS emails are by far more readable than plain-text email. In general, I agree with Email Standard Project and for this reason I think that Personas for Email Messages would be a great thing!

  7. What? Is an option that would allow both parties (those who LIKE WRITING ON PURTY CRAP), and those who don't like seeing it, out of the realm off possibility here? Something like an OPTION that would allow one to dictate whether they do in fact, which to return to the 1990's and writing on stationery (which has been something people have actually done for decades upon decades?). Personally, I won't use something that does not give me that option. Though I do believe a vast majority of stat users go way overboard (at least in the html dept).

  8. I think Outlook Express had this some 15 years ago, more or less. I used to play with it a lot only to discover that it is absolutely useless for me and dangerous if other people use it, because there's no limit to the unreadability + weird colors + weird fonts combo that people would explore this way… A big no no.

    (A slightly related example. Let the people customize graphic appearance: you get Myspace. Don't let them: you get Facebook. Still crap, but readable at least.)

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