RB7 looks bad. Here is how I would improve it

I come from Fastmail, which has, in my opinion, the best webclient in the world. I dream of it often, it is so pretty, effortlessly to manage, powerful and fast. It is with much sadness that Runbox is a clear step-down. Having said that, with some tweaks Runbox could be much better than what it currently is. Here is what I would change.

RB7 looks huge. Too much wasted space!:

  • Move everything at the top bar to an hamburger menu. That is, the “Webmail”, “Contacts”, bla bla. There is no need for that extra wasted space at the top. Seriously, it looks bad.

  • Remove the “Good Morning bla bla”. Again, extra wasted space. No one is going to retain their Runbox subscription due to that tiny bit of “feel good message”. The extra-space comes in handy for people with many folders;

  • Remove the “Popular recipients”. Why is that there? No web client on the market uses that (as far as I know), and for good reason. It is useless. Extra wasted space. Just let people do what they always did, that is, write the email of the person they want to email in the “To:” field. Email suggestions will already populate that field;

  • Remove the “Folders” bit and do not separate the “Inbox, Drafts” from the rest of the folders. Make it more compact. You could add the ability to add folders at the end all folders (as to not waste space) or juts in the settings (which will be in the hamburger menu!);

  • Folders height are way too big! Consider shrinking them by about 25%;

  • There is something wrong with the font. Everytime I open the webclient, I feel like I need glasses. It is not clear, looks “shady”;

  • Dark-theme, for the love of god. Stop everything you are doing and give us a dark theme. 2mins on RB7 and I have an headache;

That is it for now. You will probably ignore my suggestions but ya.

I’m pretty happy with the RB7 interface; however, there is value in many of your comments. The “time of day” greeting could be an option turned on/off in settings. The same could apply to popular recipients. The label for “Folders” could also be removed (not needed). I don’t have any issues with the upper menu bar, but the labels could be removed as they are unnecessary. A dark theme and the ability to apply custom themes would be nice too. I find the current theme good during normal conditions. The nice thing about most of your suggestions is that to me they all appear to be straightforward.

Not sure I’d agree with all the suggestions but am glad I’m not alone in finding the RB7 UI almost unusable. To be honest the best webmail interface I’ve used is the Google Mail one: it’s performant, keyboard driven, easy to read and scan, and doesn’t have oceans of whitespace.

While we recognize the value in existing best practices and design standards, Runbox is in the business of innovative communication services and we have never been content merely copying other email services – and we don’t think you as an email user should be either.

We believe that the email service of the future will find new solutions to old problems, and organize email and related communications and data much more efficiently than today’s services.

The inherent potential within the social networks formed by the email standard is yet untapped, and at Runbox we envision email interfaces that realize this potential by bringing the social connections, activities, and other information that email communication represents to the forefront.

For this reason you will see Runbox experiment with unconventional features such as local indexing, popular recipients, message desks, and others. Some of them will be successful, and some of them will not – that’s part of the process of innovation and experimentation. Either way, we will attempt to introduce them carefully and allow them to be customized or turned off (which is the case for Popular Recipients, via the webmail settings button near the top right of the folder pane).

With regards to the generous use of space in Runbox 7 we have an existing Github issue (https://github.com/runbox/runbox7/issues/550) for which I have now increased the priority. In other design choices there may simply be a matter of difference of taste, but the font face should be crisp on any modern monitor including retina displays. Theming is also on our to-do list, although there are other items that are requested more often and that we have given a higher priority.

We appreciate your feedback and continued support as we continue working to make Runbox the best email communication tool available.

– Geir


That’s the problem with the world everyone always has to make changes simply because they believe it’s needed. I too prefer 6 over 7 and when 7 does take over for 6 that when I will stop using Runbox. I hate everything about 7

I cannot speak to your complaints, but I feel R7 is finally starting to feel stable and we should be entering Phase 3 of the roadmap. Maybe at that point, other improvements will be made that will make it more palatable for you. I’m pretty happy thus far though I look forward to many future improvements and enhancements.

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You could do whatever you like but I know for myself I wouldn’t be using it. I hate 7 interface it’s like Outlook, not much different. And, I hate Outlook. It’s okay I’m starting to view other companies. Proton so far is leading but I know there other good ones out there. I will use the one I like. And, if by chance Runbox lose customers maybe they’ll know why.

I’ve used Runbox for many years now, and have always considered their interface “quirky” and sometimes it’s taken me time to get used to any changes, but it’s never stopped me doing what I want to do with it. I also access my e-mails by my computer desktop client and my mobile 'phone, and so don’t always use the Runbox website.

Personally I prefer RB6, but when that gets retired I’ll have to get used to RB7. I’ve used it occasionally, and it’s not that big a deal to change over to it.

I cannot understand how anyone could have actual “hate” for a website or some software. I suppose it takes a particular type of mindset.

The bottom line is that (for me anyway) Runbox provide a good service at a good price, in addition to great support.

Each to their own. I won’t lose any sleep over it. I have expressed my 2 cents and now it’s time to move on. If you’re the type that likes to pay for some and has to learn to get used to it good for you but when I buy something I buy it because I like it.

That’s where we differ because I prefer R7 over R6s interface. Is there room for improvement, yes, and I feel those will come over time, especially, now that they are open source and designed from the ground up. We shall see.

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