Defensive Design for the Web: How To Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points
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The people who visit your site don’t care about it nearly as much as you do. I’m thinking specifically of message areas. Every site these days seems to be offering a site-specific inbox for sending/receiving messages. My Flickr inbox floods with messages that read, “____ has just added you as a contact…” My eBay inbox contains letters from the CEO. Audioscrobbler, which tracks my playlists, even provides me with an inbox/outbox. Friendster, Orkut, MySpace, and others do the same.
As a site developer, messaging capability may seem like a neat add-on (and a good way to lure people back to your site). But who really wants to constantly login and check messages at dozens of different sites around the web? Do me a favor and just integrate these notes with my normal email flow (or eliminate them entirely).