I would say you don't speak for majority. I, for one, appreciate that it is stable and works well. My experience when artistic designers get involved is that the eye candy goes up, but so does the bloat and down goes the speed. As you've noted there are alternative front ends out there and if you don't like what Netwin offers there's nothing preventing you from using something else, or designing something else and monetizing it if you wish.
From: Chris Ferebee <HIDDEN@ebee.net>
Sent: May 3, 2014 4:10:36 PM AKDT
Subject: Re: [SurgeMail List] Surgeweb interface
I don’t pretend to know about the economics involved, but I serve the graphics design and advertising industry, and SurgeWeb is, to put it mildly, an embarrassment from a purely visual standpoint.
There is simply no credible explanation for the current state of affairs except that NetWin does not have a designer on the team.
I love SurgeMail - it’s a great product at a great price with great support. The ease of administration is a major feature for me, and that is why I haven’t even looked at trying to modify the stock webmail skin. I run a small shop, and can’t justify the expense.
In a way I’m reminded of the old days with CommuniGate Pro, which I used to run before it migrated out of my price range. Its default webmail skin was similarly embarrassing, and I finally paid good money for a third-party skin that was clean and well-designed.
More than once I’ve been tempted to install Roundcube as an alternative webmail system, just so I don’t have to apologize for the design of SurgeWeb anymore. It would even be feasible to write a plugin for Roundcube to let users set up their autoresponders, which would handle 99% of the functionality required that is not included in the stock Roundcube distribution.
For suggestions as to how the design of SurgeWeb might be improved, just look at any of the numerous reskinnings Roundcube has seen over the past several years. Any of them would be a vast improvement as a general design language.
If I may say so, I believe I speak for a good proportion of SurgeMail users when I say that I wish NetWin would bring in a professional designer on a contract basis, perhaps just for several months, to thoroughly redesign SurgeWeb. The admin-facing web pages could certainly use some designer love as well, but that’s a much lower priority.