I don’t mind admitting it, I can be a dumb user sometimes. It’s not shameful, it just means that I don’t understand your interface the way you designed it. Sure I can blame you and say you should have done better, but in the end it’s 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other.

Take Fry, for example. He’s new to the 31st century and he’s mistaken this suicide booth for a phone booth. It’s not his fault he’s just a “kid from the stupid ages”.

An interface that provides a service as serious and immutable as suicide should absolutely come with a warning.

While a delete button isn’t nearly as serious it should come with warnings and or a safeguard to keep users like myself from making mistakes that can’t be undone. MailChimp and WordPress both do it right.

mailchimp-delete

MailChimp requires that I type the word DELETE in the form field above. Not only that, but I also have to type it EXACTLY the way you see it there. Delete and delete don’t work. You have to seriously want to delete a campaign or template.

trash-button

WordPress on the other hand doesn’t utilize a warning system. Instead it’s a 2 step process to delete something. First you delete it from the posts section. This lands your post in the trash, seen below.

trash-can

From there you have to press the “Empty Trash” button or the “Delete Permanently” button. Either way you know what you’re getting into.

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Whether you have a preemptive alert system like MailChimp or a multi-step process like WordPress it’s important to help users like me prevent catastrophic failure.

Jesse Friedman has been building websites for 18 years, and exclusively with WordPress since 2006. Since then Jesse has written several books, taught 100’s of students as a professor, and organized dozens of local meetups along with a few WordCamps. Jesse has spoken at tech conferences around the world including SXSW, HOW, Future events and many more. Jesse has consulted for a wide array of companies from small agencies to multi-billion dollar international companies. Today Jesse is a proud team member of Jetpack at Automattic, where he spends his time growth hacking and building strategic partnerships.

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