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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Boniface Lau <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 23:13:45 -0500
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"John S. Rhodes" wrote:

> > Terry Sullivan wrote:
> >
> > > (Regarding the original question, pertaining to the utility of
> > > "mailto:" links, my experience is that folks will virtually *always*
> > > prefer an HTML feedback form, if one is made available; dead problem.)
> >
> > I am surprised. Is such user preference your speculation or is it based
> > on some surveys? How can I can get a copy of the surveys?
> Terry says, "my experience", indicating that his personal experience is being
> used. (It is fair to sometimes voice opinions in usability, even if it can't be
> backed up with data.

Personal experience does not necessary preclude data. For example, people whose
job is to conduct usability surveys would have plenty of data as a part of the
"experience." Thus, I asked Terry to clarify whether what he stated was
speculation or based on surveys - which he might have accessed as a part of his

By the way, there is nothing wrong with expressing speculations. However, it
helps to separate speculations from facts, especially when someone proclaims that
the human factors issue of mailto link is a "dead problem."


> > If a feedback form does not include those extra fields, then what is
> > left is just a blank window for entering the feedback message. As for
> > entering a message, the text handling capability of an email client is
> > much better than that of a form.
> Perhaps. However, I'd guess (no data to provide you) that most feedback is
> simple text, requiring no special formatting.

Just consider simple text wrap. All too often, feedback forms do not wrap text.
Thus, as a user enters the feedback message, the window keeps scrolling to the
right. Annoying!


> One bad thing is that they have your email address.

You can always remain anonymous by specifying a bogus return address when using a
mailto link.

Boniface Lau