Striving for greatness

Thoughts on emerging tech, open source, and life

One thing that pisses me off about Thunderbird

It’s hard to imagine how annoying this thing is. I don’t understand why it makes me so angry, because it doesn’t take that much time to work around. But it makes me want to throw my monitor through the window.

When I’m reading e-mail, I repeatedly hit the space bar to scroll down to the bottom, then move on to the next e-mail. When I’m reading an e-mail, I often hit the delete key when I’m done to trash it. But Thunderbird must’ve missed a usability exercise for this case, because when it jumps to e-mail in another folder, it highlights the folder rather than the e-mail. Thus, when I hit delete, it pops up this stupid dialog asking, Do you really want to delete this folder?

Of course I don’t want to delete the folder, you stupid piece of crap. If I wanted to delete a folder, I would’ve explicitly clicked on a folder. I want to delete the e-mail I’m reading.

So what are the usability problems here? There’s consistency — when I’m reading e-mail, always respond to the delete key in the same way. There’s expectation — a usable program acts how the user expects it to act. And then there’s the idea that the common tasks should be made easy, and the uncommon tasks should be more work.

Obviously, deleting a folder is a less common task than deleting e-mail.

Anyway, just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for listening, world.

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Written by Donnie Berkholz

June 28, 2005 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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