Visual ID for Email – Find What You Want at a Glance

September 25, 2009

There are two major value propositions for users of the Truemark service: find what you want and know that it’s real. Last week we announced our latest step in improving the user experience in email – use of favicons to visually identify messages in the inbox (see press release here).

Prior to favicons we used either a company logo or a generic “check-lock” to highlight legitimate messages. In July we started displaying senders’ favicons in the inbox, which allows consumers to identify the sender of the message at a glance. It’s a compact way to distinguish messages in an easily recognizable way.

Through July and August we continued to add favicons and logos – we estimate that about 90% of the messages we mark today (for more than 1700 companies) have a favicon or logo.

Typical Gmail Inbox w/Favicons

Typical Gmail Inbox w/Favicons

The screen shot above shows a typical inbox with a mixture of messages from individuals, retailers, social networks, payment and information services. Compare this to the sea of text you normally see in an inbox. 

Users we’ve surveyed have been unanimous in their support of this change – it dramatically improves their email experience and allows them to instantly find what they want. In fact, they want us to take it a step further and give them some kind of visual indication about every message (more on that in the future).