WordPress: Please Don’t Make Me Think

About a month ago I moved my blog from Posterous to a self-hosted WordPress installation. I didn’t bother setting up the Akismet comment spam filter at the time and started noticing quite a few spam comments coming through. From having previously worked with WordPress, I knew that I needed an API key. 

These days, it’s a bit easier to get, as you can simply sign up for a WordPress.com account which gives you a whole host of benefits when using a standard WordPress.org installation on your own server. 

I clicked on Plugins and selected “Settings” under Akismet. I entered my API key and started frantically looking for a “Save” or a “Save Settings” button. I found none, and thought that maybe it would auto-save once I navigated away from the page – a trend in desktop software, especially since Mac OS X’s System Preferences started doing this. 

I noticed a button saying “Update Options >>” (see below). I clicked on it to see what the “Update Options” might be, expecting a popup where I could choose whether Akismet would update automatically or manually.  The little double arrow indicated that further options would appear. 

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 9.46.03 AM

Ha! I was wrong. A message appeared saying; “Options saved.” 
Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 10.02.38 AM
So why doesn’t the button say “Save options”? 
Steve Krugman writes in “Don’t Make Me Think” about naming buttons. In particular, regarding a Search box/button: 
It’s a simple formula: a box, a button, and the word ‘Search’. Don’t make it hard for them – stick to the formula.” 

2 thoughts on “WordPress: Please Don’t Make Me Think

    • The point is to help folks build better web apps through understanding how users behave online.

      However, I do appreciate the irony in that, clearly, I had to make you think! 🙂

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