I have a portfolio job- I am paid by client companies, typically more than one at a time, to execute specific initiatives. I hold a role, a title, business cards, and you guessed it, an email account from each of my initiatives. It is CRUCIAL in my work that my mixed bag of email have compartments and that they be watertight.
Can you therefore imagine this scene unfolding one morning last month: I send a note to my tax accountant from my Gmail, noticing without too much immediate interest that there appears to be a new sub-menu bar. The next thing I know, I am in the CRM tool of a client company when..my TAX lady is showing up in my contact list there?! What the... After much rubbing of the eyes and scrubbing of my CRM contact list to make sure this was the only one, I finally understood.
Some brilliant product designer at the CRM tool decided that it might be just the thing to start tying together all the email accounts in use by the business developer user into one place. For extra fun, he or she turned logging and tracking options ON by default on all those accounts. Apparently, no one told them that the gig economy has already arrived for some of us! Also, apparently, Gmail feels free to let CRMs integrate with their email users.
Nothing is more panic-inducing for a portfolio worker than when a naughty little needle pricks holes into our watertight compartments. I finally found a solution by consciously logging out of the CRM before touching Gmail.
I would like to leave product designers with this thought: Don't assume that all sharing is caring and please, please, please leave some room for this crazy thing called user free will- turn off default integration and sharing.