Email usability

I arrived at work to find the following email (pixelated to protect the innocent below) in my inbox:


The problem being that I was so keen to look at and see the application, that I never got to the end of the email. I clicked on the link in the 5th paragraph and never read the 7th paragraph.

This simple issue caused me to reboot my machine 3 times (call me stupid but I thought it might help), disrupt 3 co-workers for help and grow increasingly negative and frustrated towards the product.

What usability lessons can we learn from my frustration?

  1. When writing an email don’t assume someone will read all of it before clicking off and doing something else.
  2. Place all warning/notes a link in very close proximity to the information they relate to (I am guessing this is an example of Rankin’s “locus of attention” in action).
  3. Don’t bug your co-workers until you’ve re-traced your steps (but it’s human nature isn’t!).

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