Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If You Delete this Blog, Don't Worry. It's Saved as a Draft.

Have you ever saved an email as a draft? I can’t imagine why you’d ever do that. If something is important enough to save, then you wouldn’t write it in your browser in the first place; you’d write it in Word and save it there. Meanwhile, if something’s not important enough to make you bother with Word, then chances are it's not worth saving at all. To save something as a draft means it occupies the practically non-existent space between semi-importance (the lower extremity of the “Word” zone) and pedestrianism (the upper extremity of the “Screw It” zone). And I, for one, cannot think of a single thing that fits the criterion.

I’m fed up with Yahoo! Beta Mail inquiring as to whether I want to save my scrapped messages as drafts. Their offer is, at best, speciously gracious, since it’s plainly obvious that, if I’m dragging my mouse to an otherwise useless corner of the message field, then there’s no actionable chance that I’m exiting the message by accident. It’s like when you were really young and opened up a new document in Word, wrote a bunch of curses, bathroom words, things about your friend's sister, and gibberish, then clicked “close,” only to be prompted by Word to perhaps, if you wish, save the document. Shouldn’t there be some sort of artificial intelligence that makes the computer say, “Curses: check. Bathroom words: check. Sister shit-talking: check. Gibberish: check. Yup, let's not even bother asking if he wants to save this.”

The same thinking should apply to email. If I’ve written eight inane words, something along the lines of, “hey man, thx, keeping it relll, boobs BOOBS,” something should register in the Yahoo! server that automatically disables the “Would you like to save this email as a draft” function. Somewhere along the line, software designers became so obsessed with making their products intuitive that they’ve actually made them as unintuitive as possible: stupid prompts, excessive options (who really needs their mail homepage to be a different color?), and adolescent self-advertising (yes, I noticed the task bar. Now please go shoot yourself) are gumming up the works. Sending a simple email requires two clicks, the tab button, okaying the “message sent” screen, and a Valium.

The irony, of course, is that there are simple steps the email servers could take to make everything much easier. Stop clogging the page with advertisements that have nothing to do with my age and gender (both of which I disclosed to Yahoo! when I signed up for an account). Stop inserting millions of hyphens on the left-hand side of my forwarded messages. And you know how you’re supposed to be able to type the first letter or two of a saved contact into the “Send To” window and see all your contacts that start with that letter? That never, ever works. Ever. You’d have better luck finding a virgin in Paris Hilton's jail cell.

Finally, no email griping session would be complete without this—if all our computers have microphones, and even the most basic operating system can capture and record sound, then why isn’t there an email service that lets you speak into the computer while the system types for you? Is that really too difficult to fathom? There have been speak-to-type word processing programs for years—why can’t email work the same way?

Stay Superfluous, Email Options
DJ Draft Dodger

1 comment:

Zechariah said...

Dude,

Speak to type things are not word-processor specific...I think. If you had one, I think you could use it for e-mail. But I warn: 99.9% of them totally suck ass, which explains why nobody in the universe uses them. Peace.