Ensuring User Safety: The Critical Role of Quick Exit Button

Oomph, Inc. Introduces Drupal Quick Exit Module for Enhanced User Safety on Sensitive Content Sites
Ensuring User Safety: The Critical Role of Quick Exit Button

Oomph, Inc. is dedicated to promoting user safety through innovative digital design. The company launched the Drupal Quick Exit Module to help developers implement quick exit buttons on Drupal sites containing sensitive content. This feature is essential for users who need to swiftly leave a webpage when they feel threatened or in danger.

According to Oomph's blog post published on 27th November 2023, during the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence, including technical abuse, increased significantly. Abusers often monitor their victims' online activities, making digital safety features critical. According to "Design for Safety" by Eva PenzeyMoog, 85% of shelters reported that abusers were using technology to monitor survivors. This highlights the need for features like the Quick Exit Button to protect users.

Creating digital products that prioritize user safety is crucial. Oomph’s approach involves designing features that protect users without providing avenues for abuse. For a nonprofit website redesign, they needed a Quick Exit Button for users seeking information on sensitive topics like domestic violence. The challenge was to make the button visible yet non-intrusive.

Alyssa Varsanyi, one of the maintainers of the Quick Exit Button Module, shared their insights with Ben Peter Mathew, Community Manager at The Drop Times, on best practices for balancing the visibility and subtlety of the Quick Exit Button. This ensures it effectively serves users in need without disrupting the experience for other visitors. 

According to Alyssa, for websites whose primary audience wouldn't typically benefit from a quick exit button, there's a delicate balance in making the button useful without being distracting. This balance hinges on two key factors: language and visibility.

"You must ensure the language of the button describes exactly what it does. For example “exit” may confuse folks on its own, whereas “leave site” or “exit site” accurately describes what will happen when they click on it. Avoid terms like “escape,” as it can be retraumatizing to some of the exit button’s primary audience.

Initial designs labelled the button as “Quick Exit,” but testing showed users did not understand its purpose. Subsequent iterations used clearer language, combining an external link icon with the label “Exit Site.” Additionally, a pop-up was introduced to educate users about the button’s function at the start of their visit.

Alyssa further explained, 

Across all devices, the button should not be so large and distracting that it interferes with how the primary audience will use the site. 

For example, on mobile, if the button exists as a floating button anchored to the bottom right of the page, ensure that this button does not cover content, or take up so much of the screen that a user may misclick and be confused about where they end up. 

If on a desktop, the button is located in the the top right navigation menu, ensure that it stands out in a different colour or shape to indicate that this button is for emergency purposes, and not just another menu item."

Effective safety design requires identifying potential abuse scenarios and implementing preventive measures. Features like Google Meet’s "report abuse" function demonstrate how thoughtful design can enhance user safety and trust.

Oomph’s Quick Exit Button is a vital tool for protecting users from domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Organizations can create secure digital environments and foster user trust by designing with safety in mind. This proactive approach in digital design can significantly contribute to user safety and well-being.

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Disclosure: This content is produced with the assistance of AI.

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