Naukri.com - Unsubscribe Job Alters
I have just returned from the US and as any professional I decided to explore my job options in India. I asked around on which job engine works here and many pointed me towards naukri.com. So I decided to give Naukri a try and registered with them.
Naukri thought it was smart and made me fall into a dark pattern (Roach Motel) of notification emails and alerts without my consent.
This spiralled into an uncontrollable barrage of email’s in my inbox from naukri and I wanted to unsubscribe. Let me explain how bad the UX is to unsubscribe which adds fuel to the fire.
User goals and Mental Model:
User goals are of prime importance when we are crafting the optimal UX. That is the “empathy” part of UX which lets the UX designer cater to the user needs. Here in this situation my goal is to unsubscribe from the annoying emails.
Given the existing mental model of searching for the unsubscribe button or link in the email, my eyes scanned to find that. I did find it, as I was used to recognize the conventional design of the hard to find ant-sized unsubscribe button. So I decided to click on that. The result, it led me to the sign - up page of naukri. Clearly the result does not match the user goals!
Let me break this even further to advocate for my case:
For any interaction performed by the user, there is the element of anticipation. For example when I click sign - up the anticipation here is that that CTA will perform the action of submitting my credentials and sign up for the service. I click on exit button, the anticipation here is that I will exit from whatever application that is running. Similarly here when I hit unsubscribe, my anticipation is that I will either unsubscribe or land somewhere that will let me unsubscribe. Clearly that's not the case here as I am in the signup page.
Consistency and Standards:
We are all habituated with certain platform conventions. The user is trained to certain words and actions. Lets apply that like a user journey. The user journey convention will be that I click on unsubscribe and I get unsubscribed. But a random sign-up page appears. Clearly I am confused here on what to do. I am habituated after countless unsubscribe button hits from various other emails, that unsubscribe will let me unsubscribe and not present me the opposite action of sign in. That's like saying hitting the accelerator will make the car go back and not forward.
“The interaction cost is the sum of efforts — mental and physical — that the users must deploy in interacting with a site in order to reach their goals”
Given the regular unsubscribe pattern, for me with a collective sample size of the unsubscribe process I have observed, the interaction cost is 2 i.e click on the unsubscribe button in the email, land on the unsubscribe page and click on unsubscribe ( In most cases). Here in naukri I think it expects me to sign in and go to settings or something and unsubscribe. Just look at the number of effort and steps I have to put in to experience being less annoyed by naukris amazing email spams ( Sometimes it recommends I must apply for customer service rep).
This creates a vicious cycle of frustration with the user.
Now let me add the cherry on top to this issue. I forgot my password! . So I need to give forgot password and go through the entire cycle to reset and unsubscribe? Now imagine the pile up of interaction costs in this scenario?
This is how my emotions went in the process.
- Annoyed ( because of emails)
- Frustrated ( because I cant unsubscribe)
- Angry ( Can’t figure out what to do)
- Reported spam ( Best action I could conclude).
I went to my inbox and reported Spam. If Naukri has set metrics on measuring the unsubscribe user journey, I would call it fail. It has failed in user retention , usability and also practices roach motel which is an un-welcomed combo.
Naukri could avoid dark patterns and lead the user to a simple page which lets them unsubscribe with a click. If they are so desperate for user retention, they could give the user the option to select from which types of emails to unsubscribe from. e.g: unsubscribe from news letters, but keep job alerts.
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