Saturday, May 21, 2011

Harder To Sign Out

I find it very unhelpful that Gmail and Facebook have made it harder to "Sign Out". There used to be a handy "sign out" button at the top of the screen.  No longer.  Now it is buried in a pull down, under your name or account.  Yes, I know that each voracious site wants you to stay logged in so as to harvest all your data, watch your patterns of surfing, see who you talk to, where you go, what you're interested in so that they can better MARKET to you, and I find that incredibly annoying.  I also find it bogs down my computer, even with Trackmenot, Ghostery, Adblocker Plus, and other Mozilla add-ons.  I've never once in my life found some push ad useful to me, other than to mock it, or use as an object of ridicule.

Why have Google and FB hidden the "sign out" button? Because they know most people are lazy, and if they don't see it immediately on the page, they probably won't go hunting for it, or at least they will be less likely to immediately sign out.  It's an evil application of behavioral science. 

On my Delta sky miles account, the "log out" button is prominent - but Delta doesn't want me to forget to log out when I am on a public computer printing up a boarding pass, only to have some deviant marauder then transfer all of my miles out of my account or tamper with it in some way.  Delta's protecting themselves AND serving their customer.  I respect sites that give me a prominent choice to SIGN OUT, and dislike the ones who don't.

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