Bccing is dangerous: if you Bcc someone and he replies all, he reveals to everyone that he was Bcc’d.
But the Bcc field can be useful. Sometimes you want to show an email to a third party without the main recipient knowing — either because it’d be embarrassing (e.g., “Here’s the criticism I gave Tom, let me know if I was too harsh”) or just irrelevant (e.g., indicating to someone that he doesn’t have to reply to a customer support email because you just did)
In these cases you have to:
Instead, you should have a field called “Forward to”:
In this case, Rich would automatically get forwarded a copy of my email right after it gets sent (with my comment at the top).
Why does every store make me enter my zip code? It’s easy to get that from the USPS with my address/state.
He’s right of course, but this raises the question: what’s the best way to solicit someone’s address? Should we just remove the zip code field from the standard address form?
We can do better. For example, my country must be USA if my city is New York and my state is NY. Furthermore, I should be able to specify both my state and city with “New York City” (there aren’t any other New York Cities in the US) — or maybe just “NYC”.
However, unlike inferring zip code from address and state (which always works), the heuristics described above may or may not work depending on the address. Also, there are probably other heuristics that I’m excluding (for example, could I leave off the “west” in the address? Not in this case, but maybe sometimes).
Hmmmm, if only there were some website that knew all these heuristics and could tell you with certainty whether any given string (e.g., “120 west 45th st, nyc”) uniquely identifies a single address. If only this magical website had an API!
Given that Google Maps can reliably identify addresses for us, I think the optimal address form looks like this:
You enter your full address (just as you would into Google Maps), and the form offers you suggestions (by talking to Google Maps) as you type. This is exactly what I implemented on BombSheets.com (try entering your address in the “Billing address” field).
Here’s how one would enter the same address in the form above (120 west 45th street, New York, NY 10036) into the billing address field on BombSheets:
What an easy and fun way to buy bed sheets online, right?
Of course, Google limits you to 15,000 geocode requests per day, so this exact solution wouldn’t scale for a site like Amazon, but I still think the overall approach is the future.
What happens when I try to visit Nick’s Huffpo article about Rap Genius (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-antosca/jay-zs-empire-state-of-mi_b_346636.html), but I use an incorrect URL (say I try http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-antosca/jay-zs-empire-state-of-mi)?
This isn’t a great solution:
The lack of design clearly brands this as an “error page”. This is visually unpleasant and it makes the user feel like he’s done something wrong
Why not show me the results of your suggested search query (the first of which is the article I want) on the “page not found” page itself, rather than making me click “Google Search” first?
Your site’s 404 page should be functionally identical to its search page, with the search query constructed intelligently from the URL.
Here’s Huffpo’s search page:
Why not throw this on the 404 page?
Better still, if your search only has one result (e.g., you tried http://rapgenius.com/cam/get/em/daddy) we take you directly to it and you don’t see the “Something isn’t right” page at all.
This approach has the added benefit of making it easy to visit a specific song. For example, if I want to go to “Why” by Jadakiss, I can just type “http://rapgenius.com/jada why” in my address bar.
There was once a time when a URL had to correspond to an actual file on a computer somewhere1. Fortunately this is no longer the case. Therefore, web designers should stop building applications that interpret user requests for URLs as requests for specific documents and instead as requests for the web application to “do the right thing”.
1 This is why so many URLs still end in “.html”. URLs shouldn’t end in dot anything — there’s no technical reason URLs need file extensions and they’re just noise for users