Interesting Mail Spam UI issue

Apple’s Mac OS X 10.2 email client, Mail, has a very easy to use junk spam mail system. When email comes in that is spam, you simply select the email, click the “Junk” button and now Mail knows a little more about the spam you get.

You continue to train Mail until it is marking the spam for you on it’s own. Now you can put Mail into Automatic mode, which means when junk mail comes in, Mail automatally moves the spam to your Junk folder.

Automatic mode has another interesting side effect which actually bit me subconsciously.

I was noticing that more and more of my good email was showing up in the junk folder. “Hmm, I doubt Mail is screwing up this often, let’s watch my habits,” I thought to myself. After awhile I noticed I was marking good email that I no longer wanted as Junk!

“Why am I doing this?” I wondered. So a little more paying attention and I figured it out. In Automatic mode, if a spam comes in that mail does not think is spam, when you select it and mark it as junk, the mail immediately moves into the Junk folder. This has the same visual effect as being deleted.

I get plenty of spam, so I guess after awhile my brain merged deleting spam and deleting normal email and I started using the Junk button to delete all email!