User Experience – Unsubscribing a Newsletter

It never comes to my mind that even a newsletter unsubscribe function requires some user experience design. But recently, two colleagues left the company and their subscribed newsletters were all forwarded to me. Obviously, some of these newsletters overlapped with my own and I want to unsubscribe those. In addition, I want to unsubscribe some newsletters that do not relevant to me.

You know, every newsletter has an unsubscription link somewhere in the bottom of the newsletter. So in the past few weeks I tried many of these “unsubscription functions” and soon I found that there are at least four ways to unsubscribe a newsletter (!)

Click that unsubscription link and:

  1. It hops to anther site with an email address in the URL – the destination website simply unsubscribe the newsletter based on the email address in the link / URL and then greet you with a message – You’ve unsubscribed the newsletter.
  2. The link leads you to a site, you will need to answer some questions about why you wanna unsubscribe the newsletter. Later on, the web page unsubscribe the newsletter requested.
  3. The link leads you to a site like method 2, but you have to login with a proper password. Afterward, you still need to answer some questions about why you wanna unsubscribe the newsletter.
  4. The link simply pop up a mail client and ask you to send out an email from the original subscription email address, with an email subject line like “unsubscribe XXX newsletter”.

All methods work, if you are the subscriber … but what if I wanna unsubscribe emails like in my case ?

  • Method 4 doesn’t work for me, as I could not send out an email with the original subscriber’s email address.
  • Method 3 doesn’t work for me, as I don’t know my colleagues’ password.
  • Method 2 is ok, but I have to answer some stupid questions …
  • Method 1 is the best, simple and fast.

So web site designers / developers, please implement method 1. Others don’t work and not user friendly in some cases.

Olympus and Apple

Olympus manufactures cameras (among many other scientific instruments) and Apple manufactures computers, iPods. Although they are in different markets, they have some similarities though – they all have good designed products, small market shares and followed by a group of die-hard fans. In fact, once you tried their cameras and “tasted” their cameras’ colors, you will not try other mainstream cameras like Canon and Nikon.

However, unlike Apple, Olympus is not innovative at all in marketing … so, that’s good to see they are finally spending money in advertising. Here is one from South Korea … with the superstar Boa.

And The Winner Is …

Finally a good news … in a very tough month.

Olympus just set up a new show room & office in town. To decorate the new office, they wanted to exhibit photos (a total of twelve) there to show the excellent quality of photos made by its fans with the wide range of digital cameras.

I submitted three photos thru a local user group web site and luckily my photo from Seoul is one of the selected twelve photos !! Check the results here, somehow my photo is the only portrait photo 😎

The winning photo (in color) …


Travel Guide In a Filofax

Tokyo guide in a filofaxI have dreamed about it for years, a travel guide in a personal organizer … so that you can insert your own stuff into the guide and remove the unwanted information from the guide (e.g. why you need to bring the hotel information with you, if you already reserved hotel rooms in your travel destination ?).

I seriously think there is a big business around it, but now one publisher in Taiwan made my dream come true. Good luck to them !

Check out the Tokyo travel guide details here.