Defensive Design for the Web: How To Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points
Available Now ($16.99)
Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive updates on 37signals' latest projects, research, announcements, and more (about one email per month).
It’s nice to see more sites keeping the flow going instead of just leaving people at dead ends (or requiring an extra step to keep moving).
Example 1: Email Messages
What’s the most common action taken after receiving an email? A reply. Yet email pages at Earthlink’s webmail site, and most other email services, usually require you to click through to another page to send a reply.
Gmail, on the other hand, wisely offers a reply box right at the bottom of each received email:
Example 2: Send This Article
After you “email this article” at a site, you usually wind up with a lonely confirmation message like this one from the Chicago Tribune:
Why not offer some more guidance? In addition to a confirmation message, the NY Times now offers links to the top 5 most emailed articles. This nice bit of relevant, contextual information helps keep people moving forward: