Mozilla Thunderbird User Study  

The goal of this experiment is to observe the way people address email messages, and if we can improve it. We developed an extension to Mozilla Thunderbird, called Cut Once ( ), that provides two services:

1) suggests recipients that you might have forgotten to address (people that are related to the messages that you compose.)
2) detect if any of your recipients is a leak (i.e., you accidentally used an undesirable email address as recipient. )

These suggestions are based on previous messages in your "sent" directory, i.e., similar words, similar subject, etc. After you compose a message, when you hit the "send" button, a dialog window containing these two suggestions will be displayed for 10 seconds. With a single click, you can add a new recipient, or delete an undesirable one.

Privacy concerns: There are minimum or no privacy risks involved. Your messages will not be logged. Your emails will not be shared with the researchers. No one will read your messages. The only information collected are counters and timers related to your usage of the Thunderbird extension (i.e., number of seconds to accept a recommendation, or the ranking of the recommendation, etc.)

Must be a Mozilla Thunderbird user, sending unique messages in English on a daily basis.
Must be 18 years-old or older.

Compensation: of up to $25 dollars
In order to determine qualification for the study, you will be asked to use a Mozilla Thunderbird extension for a week. After that time, qualified users will requested to attend a quick information seminar to discuss participation and be compensated $5. Qualification for the invitation to participate is based on how long you've been using Thunderbird, the languages that most messages are written, how frequently you use Thunderbird and patterns of email use.

Participants will be compensated an additional $20 dollars after 3 weeks using the tool and completing a final questionnaire.

If you are interested in being recruited for this study, please visit the website below, download the Thunderbird extension, install it (if you have any problems and email confirming that you are interested in this study. After a week using the tool, you will be contacted if you qualify for the study.

Download and Installation: All details on the Thunderbird extension can be found in its website:

In case of problems, please contact Vitor Carvalho and Ramnath Balasubramanyan at

Start date: March/April 2008.