The Rage Click Email Client Refresh Experience

“Rage clicking” is when a user really expects some software to do something when they click somewhere, and it doesn’t seem to, so they just keep clicking and clicking and clicking. Like pressing the close door button in an elevator 100 times because you’re in a hurry.

Sometimes the user really is raging, like they are upset that the software isn’t doing the thing, but sometimes it’s because they know there is some delay and they are just being impatient.

I witnessed both myself and a fellow developer doing this recent as we worked on an email-related feature of a website. We were sending test emails to ourselves, and the system took a little bit to send the email. When we needed to look at it (we were screen sharing) we’d clickclickclickclick the thing in our email client to refresh it until the email came.

In Gmail, that’s clicking the “Inbox” link, as that seems to fire off a “Loading…” message really quickly which makes me feel like it’s doing something and looking for new email. In his client, he had a pull-to-refresh feature he’d do over and over. Both were satisfying. I’m not sure I’d try to engineer a way out of this kind of rage-clicking, just a little bit of UI feedback that the client is trying during the rage clicking is enough.

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