[thelist] RE: checked boxes or unchecked boxes

Scott Brady dsbrady at gmail.com
Wed Oct 20 18:16:26 CDT 2004

On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 17:38:56 -0500, ANDREA STREIGHT  wrote:
> head lemur and Chris Kavanaugh:
> thanks for substantiating further how "pre-selection" is indeed an
> abomination, and a lack of marketing imagination.
> Good old Jakob Nielsen, I forgot how he spoke of this lunacy.

Must . . . not . . . start . . . religious  . . . .war

> Why did someone have to bring up my pet peeve again: HTML newsletters. I
> hate HTML email, for security reasons. So I don't care if 99% of subscribers
> choose HTML newsletters. Are they too lazy to check that option box?

So, you think that because the 1% uf your users who don't want HTML
e-mail are too lazy to uncheck that option box, it's ok to make the
vast majority of your users check it?  It's the same procedure (1
mouse click).  Doesn't it make sense to make it easier on the 99%
instead of catering to the 1%?

> We must never assume we know what a specific customer wants, unless they
> tell us. 

It's called knowing your audience.  

> This preselected options junk is another symtom of corporate
> arrogance and old fashioned "push" marketing, when the modern philosophy is
> "pull" marketing. Seduce, don't bully! (Ladies out there will agree here, I
> think).

You're assuming that by pre-checking a box you're "pushing" something,
when you may just be trying to make it easier for your users.

Here's another example (based on The Motley Fool message boards):
When you're replying to a message, you have two options:  Post the
message to the boards  and Send-email to the author to whom you're
replying.  You have to select at least one of them, but you can also
select both of them.  The vast, vast, vast majority of the replies are
posted to the board and not e-mailed to the authoer of the post you're
replying to. They default the "Post to Board" box being checked, with
the other one unchecked.

Based on the reasoning put forth by both you and Jakob Nielsen, the
first box should be unchecked (requiring thousands of your users
posting cumulatively thousands of replies every day to click that box
with EVERY reply).  Worse, with Jakob's logic, it should be unchecked
and worded "Do not post to the board".

That really makes more sense to you?


Scott Brady

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