Re: Writing error messages?

Subject: Re: Writing error messages?
From: Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com>
To: Fabien Vais <phantoms -at- pop -dot- total -dot- net>
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 19:58:54 -0500

Fabien Vais wrote:
> 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.
I wrote the following error message for an in house application: The
bell would ring five times and this message appeared: "you have pushed
the wrong @#%*@ button. You should be able to push '1' not 'l'. You keep
making this stupid mistake. If this happens I will explode."
My secretary ran out of the office screaming that her computer was going
to explode.


Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig.
You soon realize they both enjoy it.

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