[TriLUG] mailing list ergonomics
cmp at cmpalmer.org
Wed Jun 2 00:32:36 EDT 2010
On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 11:54 PM, William Sutton <william at trilug.org> wrote:
> Not that I'm asking you to roll it back, I'm not... but are people really so
> bloody stupid that it's necessary?
Spoiled by more modern, well-designed user interfaces would probably
be a better way to put it.
Seriously: "unsubscribe or edit options"? Filling out a form, then
searching on another page to figure out which is the unsubscribe
button, then clicking on a link in a confirmation email? Unsubscribing
with the default mailman 2.x setup is a pain -- more of a pain than it
I'm not a UX Engineer professionally, but I've had a few classes and
know several UX people, and none of them praise mailman for its UX.
There's also another issue here, and that's that people are being
trained by their IT staff not to click links in email, especially
links that seem to be auto-generated or otherwise iffy. That sort of
training means the default mailman unsubscribe process looks a lot
like what IT staff have warned their users about. Add to that the
number of lists people find themselves on without their knowledge or
consent, and even more training that tells people unsubscribe forms
are a trick to confirm that your email actually works, and you have a
perfect storm of conflicting instructions.
All of this is a very long-winded way of saying I disagree with the
assertion that people who don't manage to unsubscribe properly on
their own with the default setup are necessarily stupid. A significant
number of them might in fact be stupid, but that doesn't absolve us of
our responsibility to guarantee that /only/ the profoundly incompetent
fail to unsubscribe properly on their own.
Cristóbal M. Palmer
UNC Chapel Hill
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