The Betterific Blog

Connecting consumers with brands to crowdsource and innovate on product ideas.

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Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Outlook – Listen up! A new feature for email

Here at Betterific, we spend a good deal of time looking through the various ideas that are posted because it is extremely interesting to think about what effect they might have on our day to day lives if they were implemented. This is why we like to do guest blog posts and interviews with members of the Betterific community, so they can really hash out some of their ideas and get the brain juices flowing for the rest of us. We like how one idea usually breeds another so today we would like to share an idea that we thought particularly interesting from our fantastic Betterific innovator, Anne Mims Adrian. Here is Anne’s idea, which was voted one of the Betterific Weekly Top Ten a few weeks ago, and some more detail on her idea.

Wouldn't it be better if there was a "like" button for email so I don't have to reply.

GG:  When did you have this idea? What were you doing?

AMA: I thought of the idea of liking email messages several times before posting the idea to Betterific. Having a quick and nonintrusive way of saying “I like” an idea, a message, or a thought is a good way to respond to messages without having to add to the number of email messages we have to read. There are several occasions, both personal and professional situations, come to mind when “favoring” an email would be helpful. For instance, my daughter is a high school softball player. Around a few events, we, as parents, usually send email responses—the streams can become disruptive. The streams also can become overwhelming—several people chiming in with the same positive thoughts. Rather than replying with a written response, a nonintrusive way of favoring a message could reduce the noise. I suppose having a “thumbs down” also could reduce the number of emails too.

For work group emails, a “like” or a favored button could work as well. Anytime there is an idea or processed described, a “like” button could indicate a favored opinion for an email message.

GG: What is valuable about this idea? Why do you think people would want this?

AMA: A “like” button could be added to any email message by the receiver, the same way a message is marked as urgent by the sender. Sometimes we don’t need a full reply, but just an indication others agree. The “like” button could cut down on the number of email messages because people would not have to reply. Everyone who received the email message could see the number of likes and who liked the message. The record of likes takes up less space and uses fewer email messages for each person in the group.

GG: Who would you like to see adopt this idea? (Companies or groups)

AMA: The easiest way to implement this idea is to do it through enterprise systems, such as Microsoft Exchange/Outlook or in big systems like, Gmail and Yahoo mail. Within these systems, senders could see the “liked” email messages as they are marked, instead of having streams of email messages agreeing.