Gail McNulty

E99781237539825b91eef35decc0e8d9?s=47 Gail McNulty
January 15, 2013

Gail McNulty



Gail McNulty

January 15, 2013


  1. Julie, a mother of three who uses email for formal

    work and volunteer correspon- dence and as an archive for important documents, needs better, more automated sorting and archiving capabilities or a better understanding of those that exist because she uses email as a filing system and a way to recreate the past.
  2. Julie has just suffered a hard drive crash and is

    going through past emails in an attempt to recover important documents. “I think women tend to write longer, more detailed emails than men.” She prefers the informal nature, brevity, convenience and  timeliness that texting allows for daily communication. “Sending an email takes more time.” “Important things tend to get garbled with the junk (commercial) emails that fill my box.” She also finds email to be time-consuming and stressful because she has to sort through mountains of spam to find important mail. “I like that texts pop up one at a time.” She sometimes dreads opening her inbox because of the volume of incoming mail that must be gone through. “For example on my birthday I got 50+ notifications from Face Book and many more direct emails with birthday notes. There is a good chance I missed other important emails.”
  3. Julie’s Email Stress Model Texting is less stressful than email

    because • Unlike email, texting tends to initiate immediate conversations thereby allowing room to clarify information and nail down details • Overloaded in-box means it requires more energy to read and reply to emails • Kim likes the fact that texts pop up one at a time allowing her the opportunity to deal with each one with undivided attention. With email, one is constantly needing to prioritize and work against time to try to respond to communications in a timely manner • More thought and concentration involved in emails • More difficult to complete amidst • Family demands • Things get garbled • Answers emails on computer only • Checks email often on phone • Has a duplicate in-box on phone that makes it difficult to see whether she has responded to people • May forget to reply to an email that she read on the phone Because email is a more formal way of com- municating than texting or talking on the phone, Kim spends more energy worrying about spelling and punctua- tion and trying to get all of the details clear Continues to use email because • It is appropriate for formal work and volunteer-related correspondence • It allows for longer, more detailed correspondence than texting • She relies on it as an archive that she can return to to find attachments, etc. Might enjoy email more if • Sorting and archiving was simpler, more automatic and more intuitive • A quick, low-stress tutorial could help her know it’s full capabilities