Listen: a voicemail menu IS a program. That means you should follow standard good-programming practice, i.e., putting the most-frequently-used branch of a conditional first. Nine times out of ten your caller does not want to review, cancel, mark urgent, or anything else -- he just wants to send the damn thing. So a good menu is built like this:

"To send this message, press #. To review it, press 2. To cancel and re-record, press 3."

Not:

"If you would like to review this message, press 7. If you would like to cancel this message and re-record it, press 3. If you would like to mark this message urgent, press 4. If you would like to hear this message set to music, press 9. If you would like to have this message translated into Hittite, inscribed on a clay tablet and delivered by a messenger on horseback, press 8. If you are ready to scream with frustration because you just want to send this message and are tired of waiting to be told how to do that, please stay on the line. You'll be told how to send your message as soon as you've been told all the other things you can have done with your message . . . ."

Clear?

</rant>

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Gan Ainm

September 2010

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