Friday, August 12, 2005

Instructions in user owned fields, or, your message is ready sir

After getting every emails from people saying "The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:" I got to wondering. Why do I get so many emails like this. The message is not ready to be sent, it's already been received by me. Am I supposed to send it somewhere else now? I had a similar connection when I saw a blog post by Yaron on the aardvark blog titled [Headline Goes Here]. I thought "am I supposed to enter the headline for this topic for him?".

I've seen enough of these types of messages to realize fairly quickly that the message wasn't intended for me, rather it was intended for the creator of the document. So what is that message doing in the body of the content? My thoughts: If you're going to put a message to the user in your software (which they probably wont read anyway) don't put it in the area that they own. I'm ok with combo boxes that say "needs value", or "select blah here" because at least those values aren't usually submitted if the user forgets to select them. They typically cause a warning "you forget to select blah there".

Here's another thing... obviously "[t]he message is ready to be sent...". I'm looking at it aren't I. Actually no, it's not ready to send, there some stupid generic message in the body of my email.

1 comment:

Fred Owen said...

Hi Gary, I'm just sitting here and wanted to introduce your Uncle Robin to your blog.

I hope all is well with you,