Taking advantage of "reflexive" responses in users: clarification

Subject: Taking advantage of "reflexive" responses in users: clarification
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 13:24:32 -0400

Just to clarify my previous post: I'm not proposing that we figure out how
to hijack users, but rather how to recognize and take advantage of "learned"
or "conditioned" responses in documentation. Perhaps to avoid a problem
(e.g., I've occasionally been hijacked when I pressed the Return key in a
dialogue box whose default behavior wasn't what I expected), or to improve
an interface (e.g., to guide the sequence of instructions or the order of
data fields).

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

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