Changes to web interface Address Book rolled out
We've just rolled out a few changes to the address book available in the web interface. These changes are based on some analysis we did of how people are using the address book.
Remove the "Description" field on address locations
We found that very few people used this field (the vast majority
were blank), and for those that did put something in here, it was
usually duplicate information (either just the string "Home", "Work"
or "Other", and just duplicating the selected address type) or
confused information (duplicating the first line of the address
itself). So we've removed this, and in the few cases it appeared to
be used, we've moved the information into the first line of the
Remove all custom fields
Few people were using custom fields, and in the majority of cases
people were actually putting data in here that should have been in
another location. Most custom fields were some form of phone number
and those should clearly be in the phone contacts section. The
likely reason for this happening is because the previous interface
didn't make it obvious where to put phone numbers, which we've now
also made clearer (see below). The other use of custom fields was
for new services like Skype and Twitter. We've added new contact
types for those services.
Any existing custom fields have been moved to the appropriate
phone/email/online contact type, or where we couldn't identify an
appropriate type, we've moved the data into the Notes section.
Add new contact types for Skype and Twitter
Apart from the phone types, these were clearly the most used custom
field types, so we've added these as explicit online contact types.
Split the old Contacts section into 3 separate sections: Email,
Phone and Online contacts
Because we've always allowed an arbitrary number of "contacts",
there was a single Contacts section where you could select the
contact type you wanted to add: Email, Phone, Web, Instant
Messenger, etc. However because the selection of which type to add
was via a pop up menu which defaulted to "Email", it wasn't actually
obvious that you used the same section to add phone numbers, web
So we've now split this into three separate sections for "Email",
"Phone" and "Online" contact types.
Based on our analysis, we believe these changes make the address book easier to use and also better matches the actual data people are wanting to see and store, while removing unneeded and rarely used complex or difficult to understand features.