Delayed Email Sending: A second chance we all need...

Sometimes a product's purpose is explicitly to correct for bizarre human foibles. In this case, there's something about the human mind that is incapable of spotting a horrific gaffe in an email until the second after the "send" button is pressed. It's like forgetting something when you're leaving on a trip: you don't remember it when you're doing your final check, you only remember it once you're in the car and just hit the road. It's the kind of thing that just gets you mad at yourself!

While I won't speculate about whatever psychological defect must be responsible for this, I can appreciate a designed which accommodates it. As pointed out by The How-To Geek (and through Lifehacker), Microsoft Outlook allows users to defer email delivery by any specified number of minutes after the "send" button is pressed. Just like the procrastinator's clock, this is merely a trick that a person decides to play on him/herself: there's no real difference between using this setting and merely waiting five minutes before pressing "send." But the trick works, the mind is fooled into betraying the errors it somehow knew it made - and a product's design is validated!

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