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Can an app make us behave better? – FT.com

Design-thinking, Psychology, Technology, mobile

Everyone’s talking about a new iPhone app, Mailbox. It uses simple swiped gestures to archive email, or postpone it, or send it to a “to do” list. Mailbox users can quickly highlight their entire inbox and instruct it to come back “tomorrow”. If you have an iPhone, you’re probably already in the queue for the app.

What’s intriguing about Mailbox is that it is basically a redesigned front-end for Gmail; it adds very little actual functionality to Gmail but it strongly nudges us in particular directions, making it easy for us to handle our email in the way we should have been handling it anyway. The word “should” is intriguing: I’ve strong opinions about how to handle email. Mailbox also has strong opinions, unlike the bland “do with me as you will” of most email clients.

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