Bad UI – Which icon is delete?

Web outlook task bar showing X and recycle bin for delete

Which icon should I click to delete a selected message?

  • If you chose the ‘X’ then yep you’re way smarter then I am 🙂
  • If you chose the Recycle bin then you’ve just emptied your deleted messages.

Two function on the page which do very different things but both use a standard visual vocabulary for the delete function. On the messages screen what is the most important function? To delete a message or to empty your delete messages folder?

Don’t make this mistake.

Think about the context a task exists in and simplify your UI to match the users mental model. Global actions should be reserved for an area of the screen which is away from contextual, task based actions.

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