UI Pattern Ideas: Email Settings

Published by Chris Coyier

Last week I asked people to participate in some group design thinking around a specific design pattern: email settings. This was the premise:

Imagine there are three events that can happen in a web app that could trigger an email. We want to allow the user to decide whether or not they receive emails when those events happen.

I looked through all the responses and these are the ones I thought were the most interesting and effective. This is not a comprehensive list. To see all responses, look through the comment thread on the original post.

Note: I don't care about the browser compatibly of these. That's a different problem. There is always a way to get a design to work. That part should happen after the best possible solution is found.

The Styled Toggle

It's essentially the same as a checkbox (on or off), but the styling and ingrained text may make things more clear:

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This one uses a table layout:

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And iconography:

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The Don't Email Me

These take one step back and first ask the user if they want to be emailed at all. If they don't they shouldn't need to make any individual choices. At it's simplest, it's like this:

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A bit fancier:

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The more choices there are, the more it makes sense to have an option to check all / uncheck all:

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Or just having a clickable "Never" option:


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The Finish the Sentence

These are intentionally verbose, forcing a user to read and comprehend before altering.

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The Drag and Drop

This forced interaction would likely leave little doubt to the user as to what's going to happen:

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Pick Three

I said I'd pick three of what I thought the most interesting and success were, so I figured I'd pick them from different categories. Blake Pemberton, Frank Spin, and John. I'll email about the access.

Great job, everyone.