One of the new features in Outlook 2013 that I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about is Quick Response, which lets you write replies or forwards without leaving your inbox. This feature came about when we observed that people using Outlook often have a number of reply windows open, taking up screen space and complicating their experience of using Outlook.
To simplify the experience of responding to email, Outlook 2013 now lets you reply directly from your inbox, without the hassle of opening a new window:
When you reply to a message using Quick Response, the Reading Pane is replaced with the compose area you are used to seeing when sending email. Now directly from your inbox you can write your reply, adjust formatting, add an attachment, and send your response, all without opening a new window.
Where Are My Drafts?
Based on feedback from many of you during the preview release of Outlook 2013, we added an additional feature to Quick Response that shows which mails you have started to reply to but haven’t finished. Informally (and obviously) we call it the draft indicator. When you start to reply to a message, we add the keyword [Draft] to messages or conversations in the message list. The draft tag sticks around until you send your response or discard it.
The draft indicator makes it easy for you to see which messages you still need to act on without switching to your drafts folder or looking around for open reply windows. When you click on a conversation that shows the indicator, we’ll automatically bring you back to the mail you were composing so you can pick up where you left off.
How Quick Is My Quick Response
As part of building the Quick Response feature, we knew we couldn’t provide all the same features that are available in the compose window because of limited space for all of those commands in the inbox. To figure out which commands should be available with Quick Response, we used data from the Customer Experience Improvement Program which lets us understand which commands are used the most when replying or forwarding email. With that information, we were able to build a special Message ribbon tab with the commands people need the most when responding:
Occasionally you may decide that what you are writing isn’t a quick response, but rather something you want to compose full screen or perhaps you need to use a command that isn’t in the Message tab. No problem, just click the Pop Out button above the Quick Response area, and Outlook takes everything you’ve written and migrates it over to a new reply window:
Now you have the full set of features provided by our Word 2013 powered compose experience just a button click away. While we wanted to make it easy to get back here, we collected data during the preview release that most responses are now composed in Quick Response. The feedback from our beta testers also overwhelmingly agrees: Quick Response in Outlook 2013 lets you be more efficient and work smarter for most email responses!
I’m excited for everyone to have a chance to try out Quick Response and be more efficient in using their email!
–Ryan Gregg, Outlook Program Manager