by anthony on 02/06/14 at 10:03 am
Have you ever sent someone a message, read over it and realized that you made a few mistakes, or said something you didn’t mean to say? Users do this all the time and are left with embarrassment after they press the send button. A way to make users comfortable with sending messages is an undo timer. An undo timer gives users a window of time to undo their sent message before the recipient gets it. When the user presses the send button, a dialog box will appear with an undo link that users can click to retrieve their message from the sending queue. The dialog box should appear for a long enough time to allow users to look over their message and take action. If the undo timer is too fast, users won’t have enough time to make use of the undo. If it’s too slow, the recipient will get the message late. After the undo time passes, the dialog should tell the user that it sent their message.
Many users don’t read over their messages until after they send them. This is because when users are typing their message, they’re focused on what they want to say. This takes their focus away from how they are saying it and what they are typing. It is only until after they’ve sent their message that they can focus their full attention on reading it over and checking for mistakes. Undo timers are important for the way users send messages. It can prevent users from sending embarrassing messages they wish they could take back. Some users may rarely use the undo. But giving them the power to undo if they read their message and don’t like what they see makes the user feel in control and comfortable when they send messages. This feeling is a shining example of good user experience that designers should design for.