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215

No, it's not a good idea. You want to make purchasing from your website as easy as possible. Forcing a user to give out an email address before they're even able to see what you're selling is not a good approach. This will most probably push a big part of your customers away from the site rather than forming a commitment to it. You should read the $300 ...


82

Usability aside, there are also some technical points against your strategy: Basically, you are sending spam to your users. The content of your site is hidden behind a login page - that makes it unsearchable. In many sites, the absolute majority of traffic comes from search results and price comparison sites (like Google Shopping). Similarly, the content ...


50

Emails were never intended as a form of chat type messaging. Remember that they are electronic versions of mail, so trying to modify them to be something they weren't designed for is a mistake. As to the reasons why we write the subject line first: The subject line is part of the header of an email (see the original RFC822 and the newer RFC5322), and ...


47

This one is quite easy, you simply can't. If you would use an address on an emailing list where the recipient has opt-out you violate the 6'th requirement of the CAN-SPAM Act. Doing so is violating the law and will enable the recipient to sue your company: Each separate email in violation of the law is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, and more ...


44

One way may be to allow a file-first Email creation process. If you often send files + some text, rather than text + rarely files, you may want to allow users to start a new Email in different ways: Drag + drop a file into the application window opens a new Email to which it is attached, waiting for just a description and To: address. Provide (Send Email) ...


40

I also think that keyword analysis will help but can fail in some cases. The following is meant as a backup and is based on the assumption that quite a number of users seem to notice immediately after sending the email that they forgot to attach something (based on email I receive). Probably a small change could make a difference? - user composes email and ...


37

(See the comments for a lively debate about this idea!) I disagree with the other answers here. (There are 5 at the moment.) Like all good design answers: it depends. In 99% of cases, you'll want to put off on gathering information for as long as possible. But there are a few very good reasons you would want to collect information first. It all depends on ...


35

No. Forcing the user to enter an email address before they can view your products will more than likely drive them away, for the following reasons: Increased barrier to entry to your site - resulting in a dramatic reduction of "eyes on the prize". It's suspicious. The user will wonder why you're asking for their email address to just see your website. ...


34

Instructions on how to activate your account have beem emailed to you. Please check your email. The word "instructions" may be scary to some people. It makes activation sound more complicated than it is. I'd suggest changing the message to this: Almost done... We've sent an email to joe.doe@gmail.com. Open it up to activate your ...


31

It's better to use a special one-time login url. Reasoning: You want to make the process as easy as possible to have the lowest drop-off rate. Sending someone a temporary password requires them to either retype a password that they haven't chosen, or copy and paste it. It also provides no additional security benefits.


29

Remember that irrespective of the domain, it's the bit before the @ that is the reference by which you addressing the person, so you can detach the username from the domain name. js@johnsmith.com keeps things nice and simple, but rather anonymous - who is js exactly john@johnsmith.com has redundancy, yes, but keeps it on a personal level which is nice and ...


21

mailto: links are still the standard way to display e-mail addresses, largely because it's the only way to link to e-mail addresses. Webmail clients generally require a toolbar or plugin to become the default application handler for mailto: links, but it's still better to have the link than to not have it: for people who don't have their webmail service set ...


20

It's an anti-pattern that has unfortunately resulted from a legitimate problem: people type in the wrong email address and then after sign up, can't access their account. The problem here is that this solution isn't very user friendly because it's going against conventional interaction (namely, that you can copy and paste from and to form fields). There's ...


20

Number 1 is one of my pet peeves... especially because I tend to immediately confirm my email, so the flow for me is fill out form > check email/click confirm > return to site as authenticated user. If, after doing that, I have to log in again, it drives me up the wall! At the very least, allow your users who are confirming their email address in the same ...


18

Do not insert hyphens, not even soft hyphens &shy; (which only appear if the browser forces a line break). This is because the user might hand-write it or read-dictate it to someone else with the hyphen. Which would be inaccurate and bad. You could however use the <wbr> element to indicate an optional word break opportunity. This will tell the ...


15

On a security vs usability note -- the reason why some systems don't say whether it was the email or password that was entered is because by saying 'invalid email' you're conversely giving a hacker a signal that a given email does work when it is present. So I'd not say 'invalid email' -- I'd say 'email or password was not recognised'.


15

Michael - I spent a couple of years working for one of the larger email marketing firms, and from their excellent design (and deliverability) teams I learnt a couple of things about this issue: --attachments are a turnoff. We are telling users more and more to be wary of attachments as they can be harmful. Even when received from known sources, users are ...


14

Arguments against forms: Users have to fill in more information (at least their email address) There is more room for errors. What if the user mistypes the email address? No way of contacting him/her. Losing your internet connection, pressing a wrong button etc. can cause the loss of the message (very frustrating) The mail isn't in your sent mail folder. ...


13

Many might think that the complementary email might be useless, but this is actually a security message. What if someone left their account logged in, and someone changed the password for them? The ACTUAL owner of the profile should be notified that it was changed. It has become a standard to make sure that users are aware of what information has been ...


12

Yes, you should accept it as a login but internally lowercase it to rule out matching problems in your database and to ensure you don't have unintended duplicates. If the user makes a typo or simply prefers to write FirstnameSurname@gmail.com, why not go ahead and let them? It doesn't affect you if you don't let it. :-) Gmail does something similar. You can ...


12

This might be a lot more programming work than UX work, but you could probably implement something similar to a Bayesian spam filter, only instead of the two categories being "spam" and "not spam", the categories would be "email with attachment" and "email without attachment". This would actually be easier than filtering spam, because spammers are actively ...


12

It does need a label, not just visually for people viewing the site but for people using assistive technologies (screenreaders etc). If there is no label then people visiting do not know what the field is for, or what goes it it. From W3C Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes. 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions: Labels or ...


11

You should throw up an "invalid email" error. It's the most transparent, communicates exactly what has happened, and the user can immediately adjust behaviour based on that feedback, with a low likelihood of seeing that same message again. Let me run through why the other options aren't a good idea: Prompting to log in with the new address is a security ...


11

Why not actually setup a hello@yourdomain.com address and have it auto-reply a nicely styled branded mail with a message like: "Thanks, but we can't check mail on this address. If you'd like to talk why not send us a mail at official@yourdomain.com. If you're trying to confirm your emil address, please just click the link in the first email we sent you.". ...


11

CAPTCHA and email verification serve different purposes, so one does not replace the other. CAPTCHA is a way of trying to make sure that it is a person that is submitting a form and not just a script. There are many alternatives for how you can do this, but that is another question. Email verification is a way of making sure that the email address that ...


11

I think you should let them know that they can opt to have you retain their data after unsubscribing or completely delete it. This way you can inform them that they have full control over their data as shown below download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups If users do want you to retain the data, do inform them in the ...


11

The second time you are asked to enter your email you may notice it says "confirmation." That's all it is really, just confirmation that you are entering the correct email. In some instances, asking for an email twice is crucial. Consider signing up for an email list for example. If the user makes a mistake and enters their email incorrectly, they may leave ...


10

I would say that contact forms are always better to use. The general population is now very comfortable filling out online forms, and the contact form is so common that it should produce no question and what it's use is. Facebook, Twitter, eBay, etc, have created a standard for it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that using the mailto: would be scary ...


10

Adding a name doesn't necessarily endear users. It can be used very effectively to draw users in. Yet with emails, maybe you would be better off getting to the point quicker since the attention span for emails is so finite. You may want to change your salutation approach. A simple, "Hi!" followed by a witty phrase, random fact, or just want you want to say ...


9

It depends what sort of people you want to contact you. I would suggest contact@johnsmith.com as a general one, especially on the website. Buisness cards you might want to try md@johnsmith.com or design@johnsmith.com. You can use the email to suggest that there might be a few more people than just you behind it. Of course, you might want to take it on a ...



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