Mailto: links are terrible. You know the ones that open your desktop email client and fill in the email for you so you can ‘contact’ whatever site has this terrible usability.

Let me back track a bit, some mailto: links are terrible. The ones that really get my hate on are not the ones that are around an email (that makes sense) but the ones that are around text like ‘contact us’.

First the fact that ‘contact us’ text opens my desktop email client is not really all that clear. Second how do you know I even use desktop email? Most users are using something like gmail, hotmail, yahoo, and probably don’t even have a desktop email client.

So with your stupid mailto: link you’re suddenly making your user scramble to figure out what the hell is happening as some random program they’ve maybe never even seen opens. Sure they figure it out eventually but I know I just give up and don’t bother getting in touch with your company.

If you’re using a mailto: link for contact at least make it be around the email that you’re sending to and make it look like a link from the rest of your site.

A proper contact page should include and email to contact along with a form and a phone number. Let the user decide how they want to contact you. Don’t enforce your terrible design/usability ideas on them.

This rant was inspired by this otherwise beautiful site. Look in the footer for the link that got my rant on.

2 responses to “No I Don’t want to mailto:”

  1. Chris Liscio Avatar

    Thanks for the feedback, Curtis. I’ll have to think of something better when I dive into the site design over the next week or so.

    My icon designer ( has a great solution that I’ll probably steal when I get around to it. 🙂


    1. Curtis McHale Avatar

      No problem. Like is said the rest of the site is beautiful, just that last bit was not so wonderful. I was actually looking to see what your contact form looked like since I figured it would be awesome and I should have a screenshot of it for later.