Re: Designing for Human error (was re: unsubscring)

Subject: Re: Designing for Human error (was re: unsubscring)
From: Vicki Rosenzweig <murphy!acmcr!vr -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1993 11:19:18 EDT

I think the point is less that there might be an error which is
ideal--though I believe there have been cases in biology of people
discovering things because they failed to clean out culture dishes--
than that there might be a non-ideal act, or an action that wasn't
designed for, that isn't really an error. A trivial example is that
different pieces of software use different commands to indicate that
the user is done, such as "quit," "bye," "exit," and "logout" and
very few of them are written to accept all of these, or even to produce
a message more useful than "unknown command--quit." I wouldn't call
it an error if someone uses a reasonable command (such as quit) that
worked with the program they're used to; or rather, if there's a human
error involved, it's that of the designer, not the user.

Vicki Rosenzweig
vr%acmcr -dot- uucp -at- murphy -dot- com

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