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Velora Newsletter | Issue 17 | October 2nd, 2012


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This month we decided to learn more about the concept behind DotMailApp, so we asked Tobias van Schneider what makes his new mail app idea so different. Check out the interview below and let us know what you think about his approach to making e-mail fun and productive again!

This Month's Interview:

 Tobias van Schneider
Designer and Creator of DotMailApp

Tobias van Schneider is a self-taught multidisciplinary designer and the creator of DotMailApp, a new kind of e-mail app that has the potential to remove the stress of a full inbox forever. He is also a judge at and the co-founder of multiple projects, such as The Austrian Dribble Meetup, Tabspresso and Les Avignons. Get to know him better on Twitter @SchneiderTobias. 

V: What is your goal as a designer?

Tobias: I just want to change something for the better. I'm really thankful for having the opportunity to design for people. Designing products and experiences is the best thing I can ever imagine doing. At the end of the day I'm feeling really proud if I made someone's day easier/better, or just made somebody smile. It's so simple and yet so difficult, and - at the same time - that's what I love about my job.

V: How would you describe your style as an Interaction and Brand Designer? Is there a common theme for all your designs?

Tobias: I think I don't really have a specific style. I love to experiment, and I love to work in different styles for each project. But I do think that I always keep it simple, even if it's a highly detailed design, I always try to avoid unnecessary elements. Some people tell me that I'm really "German" when it comes to designing or design planning :).

V: What about our modern communication workflows has changed, that motivated you to re-design and re-adapt the e-mail concept into the product you're currently working on, which is DotMailApp?

Tobias: I'll try to keep this short (I can talk for hours about this topic...). I think almost everything changed around email. E-mail is still boring and it takes us a LOT of time dealing with emails everyday. My goals is actually pretty simple: to create something that I would love using and something that would help me spend less time with email, while also feeling like writing/reading emails is fun again. When it's fun, we don't notice how bad it actually is...

Read more about the concept behind DotMailApp

V: ActionSteps - is this key feature the secret to end our hectic relationship with e-mail apps?

Tobias: It's a part of it. But if we're honest about it, ActionSteps are just another workaround of just TOO MANY emails sent everyday. If we really want to change something we need to change HOW we think of email. We're sending and receiving way too many emails every day and it's getting even more and more. I'm pretty sure there's a big change coming soon.

V: Being involved in so many side projects must be very time consuming. What is your advice for freelancers who have decided to put more time into their own ideas, in addition to working with clients?

Tobias: I love side projects, and even though it's really time consuming yes - those projects inspire me the most. I only have one piece of advice: don't listen to people who tell you to stop working on them because those projects don't pay the bills. If you can work on your own ideas it's the best thing that can happen.

Les Avignons is a de-centralized network of designers and thinkers

V: Your experience with being a member of the judge team for Awwwards must have been very interesting. Has judging so many different designs influenced any of your own decisions as a designer over time?

Tobias: Ha! Good question. I think no. The one thing I learned about judging that many sites a day is that I always try to NOT follow trends, because it's really easy to get sick of design/web trends when most of them look similar in a short period of time (right now we have those parallax scrolling sites trend.) 

V: Having a habit of taking initiative on what needs to be re-designed, what other tool/app/object that you use often would need to be re-thought and re-created at some point?

Tobias: There's a lot of them! But right now I'm thinking about "How to manage and/or store your knowledge". Back in the days we had books as an addition to our brains. Books stored lots of knowledge and the only thing we need to remember was what book had the answers we were looking for. Now everything is moving to digital and we have a lot of different devices and different file formats. Now we store our "personal knowledge" in PDFs, Word documents, Google Docs, bookmarks (wikipedia, blog articles and so on), audio files, videos (think about TED Talks), RSS readers, images and so on. Back in the days we had Books as a single unit, and a Bookshelf to collect them all - that was it. Now we have all these different formats and devices but we don't have a "Bookshelf" anymore. That's what I'm "working" on right now.

Did you know we have video interviews with designers and creatives around the world? Watch BrightLounge and discover inspiring stories from different countries. - A New Collection of Responsive Website, Webapp and Wordpress Templates!

Do you have a great idea, but need a clean UI to get it started quickly? Check out, our new site where you can find website and app templates, launch pages and UI elements built by Velora Studios, that will put your project on the right track in no time!

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Until next time -
Be Brilliant!

The Velora Studios Team
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