Hello and good day to all the hard working people at Mozilla!
I work as an ICT-instructor for the visually impaired and I have many clients who use Thunderbird as their main email program. Thunderbird has been a blessing for both me and my clients for many years in that no matter what email provider you use you only have to learn one interface to efficiently handle your daily email needs.
This announcement of a new and refreshed user interface filled me with a growing dread. As stated above all of my clientele are visually impaired either with low vision or complete blindness. In addition most of them are already ”graying” so to speak, upwards of 70 years of age.
I have no doubt that accessibility will be top-notch on the new UI - as is the case now - but I fear that re-learning the new ins and outs of an already established program will cause a burdening mental strain not only on my clients but also on me.
So my humble plea is this; please give us the option to keep using the tried and tested UI. Experience has taught me that modernizations of user interfaces have almost invariably been only drawbacks where visually impaired users are concerned.
In closing, I would like to offer my sincerest adulations to the whole Thunderbird team for creating and maintaining a tool that has enabled those with vision issues to take part in the information highway. Let us hope that this will be the case for many years still to come!
Kind regards, a concerned-yet-hopeful instructor.
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Speaking as a Thunderbird user myself, I second this.
I can't stand it when programs or websites I use every day drastically change their UI without giving me the option to go back to the old design, or something that at least resembles it.
Arguably, I'd say that UIs just shouldn't change unless its the user's willful decision to do so. I know this isn't a realistic thing to expect nowadays, however, so I at least like having the option to go back to a design I am more familiar with.
I agree with the previous comments. Reshuffling a UI is always a pain for the users. And, unfortunately, the changes are rarely worth the re-learning.
Keep the UI clean, simple and functional. Avoid embellishment that doesn't contribute. Shun trendy elements like those in recent versions of Windows. Offer users as much configurability as possible. Adhere to established standards - drop-down menus, buttons, tab bars - and don't try to reinvent the wheel.
I sympathize with their earnest appeal.
Programs should seek to be streamlined and simple, devoid of ornamentation.
Never follow programs like Microsoft, Vivaldi, etc. that are decorative, wasteful, and inefficient.
Not to forget, the ideal is a shareable Thunderbird that is friendly to everyone, including minority users.
By all means, Please leave enough choices.