Zach Shepherd's WordPress Blog

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Google’s way isn’t always the best way.

On the whole, I love google products, but they certainly don’t get all the details right all the time.

A little while ago A List Apart featured the article Sign Up Forms Must Die by Luke Wroblewski. In it, he cited one of several things I disagree with Google’s approach to: signup forms. Instead of forcing a potential user to go through the trouble of signing up before they even know if the service is worth having, websites can allow the user to experience the product and then sign up for an account (Wroblewski calls this process “gradual engagement”).

Another long-standing issue I’ve had with Google is Gmail’s terrible support for mail consolidation. Yes, they allow you to “Add another email address”, a wonderful feature, but the implementation is terrible. It will show the “From:” header as the address you selected, but the “Sender:” header is populated with the gmail address you’re sending from (even if your “From” address is another gmail account, which there is absolutely no excuse for). It allows you to reply from the same address mail is sent to, but doesn’t support conditionals (for use with lists and domains and such; I want to reply to anything to *@lists.clarkson.edu from my Clarkson address). In addition, there is no way to sort your “From” addresses (and they aren’t even sorted in some undesirable way that can’t be changed; from what I can tell, they’re completely random).

posted by Zach at 2:39 pm  

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