Think About User Experience

Separate the user from complexity. Spam filtering is pretty complex stuff. The act of signaling an email is spam should not be. Which of these user interfaces for Spam handling do you think works better?

Outlook 2007 – 1 action = navigation + 6 options


A classic lesson from Don’t Make Me Think. The cognitive load in Outlook is very high. The steps for a email user wishing to mark an email as spam.

  1. Some how know to right click on the email. (acquired knowledge)
  2. Click on Junk E-mail.  (Find the menu item)
  3. Pick from a list of 6 potential junk email options. (Read and understand what each option means)

GMail – 1 to 1

Gmail recently changed their menu items condensing them down and in my opinion reducing their readability. However I find the task of marking email as spam here a lot easier.


  1. Click on Report spam or use the keyboard shortcut !

To make things even better Gmail as an email hosting service usually never gets this far. For this example I had to go dig emails out of my Spam folder. I get maybe 1 spam a week.