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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Tom Hume <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Wed, 21 Apr 1999 18:29:23 +0000
TEXT/PLAIN (53 lines)
On Wed, 21 Apr 1999, Volker Schoech wrote:

> PRO HTML Form (Con Email-based subscription)
> =============
>  * more comfortable, 'direct', more task oriented

That depends how comfortable users are with an email client. Usually when
there's a form and an email option, I go for the email one (if only
because I have more faith in a direct link between my mail client and a
remote list management server that I do in the CGI scripts that will
provide any web interface).

>  * more intuitive, requires less explanation
>  * probably faster to handle

Wouldn't have thought so - aren't they usually interfaces to proper
mailing list management software, and thus an extra stage in the
subscription process.

>  * self sufficient, doesn't require email software,
> works more reliable than a "mailto:"-link

This was a reason that we usually supported email forms on sites as
opposed to providing email address, but I'm not sure how many people these
days have web access, but not email access (especially given Hotmail etc).

> fst of all, most important and most interesting, IMO:
>  * I don't know anybody who doesn't hesitate to enter
> his real email address into a fillout form and send it
> across the web. Whereas sending email usually does not
> trigger a long process of worries...

Fair enough. You don't know where else that email address is going, what
else (given cookies on sites which help correlate data submitted by you on
different occasions etc) it might be linked to, etc, before you're

> One last word: I do *not* want to offer both ways for
> subscription side by side on the website. IMO, this
> wouldn't make much sense. If you do not agree, tell me
> so!

I'd say, offer mailto: links (with which you can insert text into the
subject line and thus set up any message required for subscription) on the
page, as well as listing the subscription/unsubscription addresses


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