Interface for sending iTunes Store terms by email

(You’ll get 90% of the value of this post just by skimming. Image, bold text, done.)

When viewing updated iTunes Store Terms and Conditions in the iPhone App Store app, there is an option to have the terms sent to an email address. If you choose to do this, you are presented with this display:

screen shot from the iPhone showing a message box asking for an email address to send the terms and conditions to. The input is done with a text field.

Firstly, this is a bit of an unusual interface element. It is an alert containing a text field. The iOS Human Interface Guidelines have nothing to say about alerts containing text fields; this is not how alerts are expected to be used. (HIG section on alerts.)

There are other situations where an alert is used to get input other than choosing one of two buttons. For example, choosing a WiFi network if ‘Ask to Join Networks’ is turned on.

I’ll throw out a couple of alternatives:

What really bothers me though, is that there is no need to ask me to type the whole address. Under the heading Minimize the Effort Required for User Input in the User Experience Guidelines section, the HIG states:

Get information from iOS, when appropriate. People store lots of information on their devices. When it makes sense, don’t force people to give you information you can easily find for yourself, such as their contacts or calendar information.

The address could be auto completed from the address book. Even better, send it straight to the email address associated with my AppleID.

I actually want to send the terms into my Instapaper account, not to my own email address. However, sending to yourself is easily the most common case. I’m less important that that, and can easily forwards the email once it arrives.

I hope it’s obvious that this interface is bad and could easily be improved.