Re: Writing error messages?

Subject: Re: Writing error messages?
From: Fabien Vais <phantoms -at- pop -dot- total -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM

I wish people would stop making users feel like THEY are at the service of
the program. It is the PROGRAM that should be at the service of the user.

When I use a program, I want to feel in full control of the tasks I am
trying to perform. If something goes wrong, I spontaneously BLAME THE
PROGRAM, OR THE COMPUTER, or both!! I refuse to blame myself, until I have
proof that I "absent-mindedly" entered an impossible value for a field, and
even then, I would like it to be "impossible" to make such a mistake. For
example, a beep that sounds as soon as I move on to the next field, and a
message reminding me that the value is impossible. I DON'T MIND THESE
MESSAGES, because very quickly, I will learn to enter appropriate values. It
is the OTHER messages that drive me crazy.

Fabien Vais
Fabien Vais - Documentation Analyst (Analyste en documentation)
Technical Writing, Technical Translation/Globalization, Editing, Publishing,
Teaching, Training
Rédaction technique, Traduction/globalisation technique, Révision, Mise en
Page, Enseignement, Formation

e-mail: phantoms -at- total -dot- net
Mailing address (Adresse postale): 38 Elderidge, D.D.O. (Montreal), Quebec,
H9A 2P4
Phone/Fax: (514) 685-4752

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