Usability is all about making things easy to use. That’s common sense though, right?
I came across a new service today called Scr.im. It’s (very noble) aim is to help prevent spammers getting hold of your e-mail address by scraping it off of web sites (such as forums) where you might have reason to post it.
The service replaces your e-mail address with a nice URL, like http://scr.im/hiphilipjohn (and you’re welcome to try that link out) that spam bots can’t get past. When you click on the link you’re asked to complete a simple test, similar to a Captcha.
However noble, though, it just makes e-mailing someone hard. Instead of one click of the e-mail address it takes 3-clicks at best; once to Scr.im, once to pass the test and once for the actual e-mail address.
I understand spam is a problem but I can’t help thinking the time and effort spent building and maintaining Scr.im, as well as signing up, would be better spent on improving spam filters, rather than something which essentially degrades the user experience.