In the vast majority of email clients I've seen (Outlook, but also Web mails like outlook.com or GMail), the "Send" button is always next to danger zone where the user often clicks. The worst example being Outlook, showing a UI like this one for ages:

enter image description here

It's pretty obvious, even to a UX neophyte like me, that the "Send" button is kind of dangerous and should be isolated in the UI, so we cannot click it by mistake. Who has never sent an email by accident because of the position of this button?

Also, when you compose your message, and when you check it before sending, it would make sense to proceed from left to right (or right to left if you're in a RtL locale): you review the headers, and then you click Send. Not the other way arround! So, this kind of UI would be much more convenient:

enter image description here

Or even with a "Send" button below the message body area, as do e.g. with Web forms.

This question adresses the "how to workaround this problem", but I'm asking about the reason leading almost all major email clients to keep the "Send" button close to the other buttons, or without a clear visual distinction.

For instance, this answer explains pretty well what could/should be done… but not why on earth didn't Microsoft (to name a few) did not implement a proper solution in decades.
While the whole UI is constantly redesigned in these email clients for a "better world user experience", the "Send" button is always kept on the left, and always easily clickable by mistake. Is there any actual reason?

  • 2
    Hi Evariste, welcome to UXSE. This question is likely to get closed because the only way to have a correct and objective answer would be to ask the design teams in question. We can speculate as to why these decisions were made and attempt to rationalize them in the context of best practices, but the best answer to the question "why did these designers do this?" is something like "I don't know, ask them". It could be something as simple as a "competitive analysis echo chamber" where one questionable pattern got replicated often because it got replicated often.
    – dennislees
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:37
  • I'm not sure I understand what your question is. Are you asking why e-mail clients are persistent on that option? I agree it would be better to at least highlight the background of the button. If that's your question all I could think of it that someone started it and now it has become standarized, same way the search bar is usually on the right top corner.
    – Philip RH
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:37
  • @dennislees: I'm simply wondering whether I'm missing an obvious reason that makes designers keep that design, while they're not afraid of changing everything else every 6 months. Or to re-phrase my question: if I had to design my own brand-new email client, would it be better for my users to keep the "Send" button as in Outlook, or should I move it to an isolated position, on the right of the screen?
    – Evariste
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:46
  • Again, we're just speculating here, as we'd have to ask the designers, but the most obvious reason that comes to mind is that that keeping all actions grouped together leads to the most visually consistent outcome. e.g. putting the send button in the seemingly obvious location of below the message body, puts it at risk of disappearing below the fold when the window has been resized. Another point is that "good design meets expectations", even if those expectations don't make optimal sense.
    – dennislees
    Sep 6, 2018 at 14:38
  • I appreciate your viewpoint here and tend to agree with you. I don't think you're missing anything really obvious. It sounds like you have a hypothesis that you need to test. If you can rationalize your decision using your experience and knowledge, just go ahead and design how you think best, then test your decisions with representative users.
    – dennislees
    Sep 6, 2018 at 14:41