Email Triage!

Seven months ago I went went on a podcast rant and wrote an editorial here complaining about the "email triage" experience on BlackBerry 10.

My issue? It was too damn slow. From the inbox, deleting or archiving a single email was a painful process. Unlike Android or iOS, where I could swipe left on a message to quickly take action on it, on BB10 I had to tap and hold on a single message, wait for the menu to slide out from the right, and then move my finger down to the bottom to tap the delete icon. Thank God BlackBerry provided the option to turn off Delete confirmations, or that would have added another tap to the already-long process.

My suggestion was that BlackBerry should copy Android's Gmail approach as I felt it was the most efficient. Swiping left on a single message automatically archives the message, and then you're presented with an option to Undo the action should you have archived the message by accident. Here's the Instagram Video from March where I compare the Android experience to then BlackBerry 10 experience:


) from March

BlackBerry has now changed things up for BlackBerry OS 10.3, and having spent some quality time these past few weeks churning through my inbox several times per day on the BlackBerry Passport, I'm happy to report that BlackBerry's email triage experience is now BEST IN CLASS. I'm glad that BlackBerry listened to our call to action to improve the process and I'm also extremely glad that they didn't just copy Android as suggested. Instead, they came up with a BlackBerry solution to the problem that is original and FAST AS HELL!

You can see how HAPPY I am with the new process in the Instagram Video embedded below (note the music!):

BlackBerry's solution was to implement "Instant Actions" in the Hub. By tapping on the list with a check mark icon in the top right corner of the Hub, Instant Actions appear in two columns down the screen. The Instant Actions vary based on the type of message shown in the Hub - for email you'll see the Trash Can and Folder Icon (so you can file the email into an appropriate spot). And to mark emails read / unread, you can tap on the envelope icon to the left of the main message.

With the Passport being such a wide device, in practice I've found I just leave Instant Actions turn on in the Hub at all times. This means I can delete emails lickety split! And even if I have Instant Actions not showing, after I view a single email and then return to the inbox view, the Instant Actions appear for a few seconds so I can immediately delete the email with a single tap should I still choose to. You can watch the video below for a quick walk through of Instant Actions by BlackBerry's Jeff Gadway from the BlackBerry Passport launch event:

Overall, it's a BRILLIANT system. Great job, BlackBerry! Thanks for listening to your users!!!