2

So, today I was working on the 'thank you for... page' at the company that hired me. It is a page that is shown after the user 'requests' an offer for a certain treatment. Because of privacy rights we need to confirm that email before we can contact them.

While testing, I got an idea. We already know the domain of the email (for instance some populair: Outlook / gmail / hotmail / yahoo etc.). Why not make the email a link?

On the page we currently show the following text*:

Thank you for showing intrest in [product x]. We send an email to 'example@gmail.com' for verification. Please follow the instructions in the email.

*roughly translated.

My Question

Are there any negative UX related consequences for making example@gmail.com link to gmail.com?

I can only think of these 2, that do not seem to big:

  • User miss typed their email. (Even this can be checked with some code. For instance if its @gmial.com dont make it linkable)
  • The users adres used in the signup is not their primary email.

I've never seen this used in the websites i register for, so I'm curious if I'm missing something?

For instance, if you register on mobile and you link to gmail.com. Gmail.com will ask you to open the app.

3

A significant drawback that I could see (which could be confirmed with some testing) is that this link would be misunderstood by not communicating what it does.

If I were to try and assume different personas...

As a tech savvy user:

I see an email address that is styled as a link, I assume it's a mailto:email@example.com link (created by the web developer, or automatically by my browser), which would open my default mail provider to compose a new email to that address.

As a user competent with routine tasks:

You tell me you sent me an email; got it, no problem. I know how to do that: I need to open my email app/click on my web bookmark and find the email, ignoring the provided link altogether.

As a user who finds difficulty in interacting with technology:

The hyperlinked email address provides me with no instructions or information on what it will do, and I'm scared I might do something wrong, or afraid I may get lost if I click it.

Sure, these may be exaggerated caricatures, but these or similar issues could come up during some preliminary user testing, and worth considering.

Instead...

I'd recommend giving a descriptive call-to-action that explains exactly what it will do so the user is well informed of what this will do.

Confirmation message, instructing user to navigate to their email provider, with a link to do so

  • yup, I've seen this before in the wild. I guess we stopped seeing them because let's be honest, how many devices with email apps each of us have? I have an inbox that if someone sends me on it, I get three notifications, 2 on mobile and 1 on desktop :) ... so life is too good not for that help tip – Ayyash Sep 1 at 5:33

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