Allaland

Improving Twitter Email Notifications

Posted on: August 29, 2009

I am a regular Twitter user (@azollers), and I truly love the service because it connects me to a wide range of interesting people in my field. I feel a stronger connection to the UX community because of Twitter, and so leave my profile open to allow anyone to discover and follow me.

My biggest frustration with Twitter, however, is the proliferation of spammers in the form of bots, porn, and “social media marketers”. Not only do these profiles provide me with little value, I do not wish to be personally or professionally associated with them. My first defense against spam followers are the Twitter email notifications, which, when they actually work let me know who has followed me. These notification bring me no end of frustration because of their complete lack of information to help me make a decision regarding the legitimacy/credibility/interest of the person following me.

Twitter Email Notification

Twitter Email Notification

The current notification only provides the following information:

  • username
  • # of followers
  • # of tweets
  • # following
  • the link to the profile
  • link to block the person

Although the ratio of # of followers to # following is often a good indicator regarding the person – with a fairly equal ratio indicating that the person is not a spammer – it is not enough information. I am constantly forced to click on the link to visit the profile to get a better impression – and often accidently end up clicking the block link, because of poor readability.

The email notification would actually be much more useful if they contained the following information:

  • The bio
  • The full text of 2-3 most recent tweets
  • Contacts we have in common
  • Clear links to follow and block the person

Twitter already has all of this information and surfacing it would certainly help me make a reasonable decision about the individual. Whenever I am forced to view an individual’s profile, I always look at the bio first followed by their most recent tweets, RT, and mentions. If I could have this information up front, it would save me a lot of time and frustration, and actually make the email notifications valuable.

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1 Response to "Improving Twitter Email Notifications"

This is exactly my issue with Twitter notifications.
It would probably be fairly straight forward to implement a work around. I’ll let you know if I make anything :-)

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Alla Zollers

I design products and services that just. make. sense.

When products make sense, customers are happy.

If customer are happy, they sign-up, stay on site, engage, share, and buy your product or service.

Happy customers allow companies to profit in both senses of the word.

I provide the following services:

• Heuristic Evaluations
• Discovery Research
• Strategy and Vision Development
• Information Architecture
• User Experience Design
• Usability Testing

You can find me on:
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