Worldwide, 215 billion emails are sent each day and 65% of the world’s emailers use their mobile devices to check their inboxes. It’s no secret that email is still one of the main forms of communication, especially in the workplace, and sometimes the task of “dealing” with swamped inboxes is overwhelming—especially for those of us who have more than one email account.
When the crew at Visual Logic stumbles upon products that delight and simplify our lives—like an app that makes checking email a much less daunting task—we feel compelled to share it with you.
I’ve been using Apple’s mail app on my iPhone and MacBook for years, and have recently realized how much time I spend checking and responding to emails every day. I decided to revamp to my email workflow and give something else a try. For the past couple of months, I have been using an app called Spark, and while sifting through emails is still not the highlight of my day, it has become a much lighter part of it.
An Inbox That Cares About My Time
Every day, I am switching between three main email accounts: a personal account and one for each of my two jobs. Spark’s “Smart Inbox” feature automatically sorts and categorizes my emails by what’s most important. It creates sections showing the newest couple of emails in each of my accounts as well as smart categories such as notifications and newsletters. Rather than switching back and forth between multiple inboxes, I can glance at these messages from all accounts at once and decide what’s important to respond to or what can wait.
Speaking of waiting, sometimes I don’t have time to respond to a message right away, but am afraid of it getting lost among all my other emails. I can hit snooze, and it disappears from my radar until I am ready to respond—a feature that allows me to focus more on what I’m currently working on without forgetting to get back to that important email.
Easier Calendar Scheduling
It seems like half of my incoming emails are invitations to calendar events. Spark recognizes these types of emails and shows an alternative view, making it easy to accept or deny invitations. Most notably, I am shown a preview of what my calendar looks like in that time slot, so I know if I am busy or free without switching to check my calendar app. The designers of Spark know that many users are organizing their calendars just as much as they are checking their email, often simultaneously, so they integrated calendars to take yet another step out of our already busy schedules.
Customizable to Fit My Workflow
There are over 2.6 billion people in the world who use email, and there’s no way everyone uses it the same way. Spark offers almost complete personalization of all the features they offer. I was able to choose what happens when I swipe different directions on my emails. I prefer to archive emails rather than delete them, so I can set my default action to “Archive.” If you’re used to using a different email application, you can set keyboard shortcuts and gestures to match common apps (like Apple Mail or Gmail), so you don’t have to change the habits you may already be used to. You can also color-code your different accounts, personalize the sidebar items you use most often, and even add widgets (like your calendar or the soon-to-come package-tracking tool).
User experience is about helping people meet their goals.
I love using Spark because it feels like it was made just for me. An experience this great could only be designed by paying close attention to how people currently use email.
Not ready to respond? Press snooze.
Have multiple accounts? Stop switching back and forth, and see everything in one place.
Are you an online shopper? No need to copy and paste your tracking number into your web browser when you can stay right in your email.
Workarounds I naturally created using other email apps are brought to my attention when I use Spark. They streamline my process by solving problems I didn’t even realize I had. Switching back and forth between multiple accounts and tracking packages in a different web browser are now troubles of the past.
Give Spark a try and let us know what you think.
Want a better UX in 10 minutes?
Watch this three part series that will help you understand what makes a product or service useful, usable, and desirable.