Billy Snow
Billy Snow
A detailed minimalist.

Alto Mail

Alto Mail is an email client that organizes all your mail accounts in one place, so you can find what you need even faster. Beyond the typical inbox display, Alto provides organizational tools that automatically highlight important information so you can find what you need when you need it.

Role

Lead UX Designer

 

Company

AOL 

Timeframe

March 2014 - March 2016

Deliverables

Sketches, Wireframes, User Flows, Specifications /Annotations


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5 W's and H

Facilitated a discussion on what Alto Mail was to us at the point of release and where we saw it going with the 5 W's & H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, & How).


Opportunity

Mobile Alto Mail was a completely new concept that had to be built from scratch. There were many times things were designed and built quickly rather than being tested and researched. We were a small design/product team and there was pressure to move fast and get the product built. I began our research studies and more formal testing right before public launch, which helped pivot on a few concepts and lead to a better experience. 

 

Design Process

I began tackling the four key features of the product in a holistic way as they play into each other and create a unified experience. I would start on one while considering the other three and go through cycles and sprints. 

There were a lot of paper sketches, pin-ups/white boarding with discussions and critiques. After many rounds of iteration and guerilla testing, we managed to get buy in from Design, Product, and Engineering leadership for an MVP that launched in July 2015. 

 

Account Aggregation - Navigation

I sketched through many iterations of how navigation would function between accounts, stacks and folders. After each iteration, we did a round of guerrilla testing around our office to get a general feeling of what was expected. 

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Account Aggregation - Account Collections

Part of the selling features of Alto is Account Collections. This allows a User to make a collection of all their accounts on one device and be able to move to another device, enter credentials for any one of those accounts and through a secure flow, get access to the others without entering each accounts credentials. Leveraging OAuth 2 flow.

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Stacks

Stacks are certain views or categories of your mail. There are nine system generated stacks: Personal, Photos, Files, Unread, Starred, Finance, Shopping, Travel and Social. These filter or extract key components from your mail to provide you with faster ways of consuming viewing your email. 

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Cards

Cards are high-level representations of email that allows you to digest faster without having to open and read your mail. We currently provide seven versions of cards: Flights, Trains, Hotel Reservations, Car Reservations, Restaurant Reservations, Shopping/Shipping, and Event Reservations. 

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Lifecycle of Cards

Each card has a lifecycle it goes through that makes them smart and in tuned with the User's location and what we've called the "Date-of-interest". It basically surfaces up cards when it's the most relevant to the User (i.e. your flight being tomorrow would move the card to the top of your dashboard and send a notification) 

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Alto User Testing

In July 2015, I led the first round of internal user testing of the Alto Mail product before we publicly launched in beta to ensure we were delivering the most optimal and usable product. We performed five tests and consolidated our findings as a design team. I synthesized all results and findings and presented this back to our Executive and Senior team in order to move forward with the needed changes. 


Meet Alto

Email used to be simple. Now, we’re faced with a flood of messages arriving in multiple inboxes. It’s getting harder to manage, creating more stress than it relieves.