Spot the unsubscribe (link)!

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 19.39.34After getting fed up with too many “promotional” emails and newsletters with incredibly obscure unsubscribe links, I decided to make this tumblr to point out such examples of digital douchebaggery. This annoying dark pattern is so widespread that Google even added a feature to Gmail for making those unsubscribe links obvious!

Unsubscribe links are crucial to promotional emails. They are not just another menu item. They are not something that should be hidden in a blurb of tiny low contrast text. Unsubscribe links should be immediately obvious to anyone looking for them. You want people to be reading your email because they’re interested, not because they can‘t find the way out. Otherwise you are the digital equivalent of those annoying door-to-door salesmen who just won’t go away.

— From my introductory post on Spot the unsubscribe!

On the spur of the moment, after yet another email newsletter with a hard to find Unsubscribe link, I decided to quickly put together a tumblog about this UX pet peeve of mine, called Spot the Unsubscribe!. In less than an hour, it was ready and had a few posts as well 🙂

Hopefully if this bothers others as well, there will be submissions. Otherwise, new posts will be rather infrequent.

  • drNinjaBatman

    I usually full-text-search for any link I am looking for that isn’t obvious (although I am not sure how large a demographic I represent) so I don’t mind not-so-obvious unsubscribe links too much. I do hate it when the links have unexpected labels like “stop sending me emails”.

  • Chris Geirman

    I have thought about doing this myself! not only are unsubscribe difficult to find, there are a lot of dark patterns around the unsubscribe process as well that truly annoy me!

  • Nice move! Today I was tweeting about a newsletter that links to a 404 dead-end. Not sure if this is an intentional strategy or was forgotten in a poorly site redesign.

  • I just learned of this effort. Is there anyway we can add shots of the poor UX of what happens AFTER you find and hit unsubscribe? I have a collection that I’ve been saving for a while. I knew it would come in handy someday. 😀

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