Re: Enter vs. Type

Subject: Re: Enter vs. Type
From: Mike Pope <mikep -at- ASYMETRIX -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 10:51:00 PDT

>But that is beside the point. The instructions told
>them to TYPE the data into the fields, TAB to the next
>field, then press Enter when it was all filled out.
>Yet, we s t i l l had to tell them not to press
>Enter or they will be sorry.

>Everything has risks and you cannot (must not, even)
>pick and pick at your documentation to make sure you
>cover every single possibility of somebody misunder-
>standing you. You see, somebody always misunderstands.

>We do not have laws to cover everything a person might
>do in every given situation. If a case comes up where
>the law is unclear, the judge asks,"Did the defendant
>act the way a reasonable person would act?" I like to
>write documentation by the same standard. I ask,"Is this
>documentation a reasonable person can follow?" Of course,
>I have to think about who a 'reasonable person' is by
>careful audience analysis and all that.

Here's a quote from an article in the March 1993 Atlantic Monthly:

product-liability laws [...] first consider the product's physical
design, then its labeling, and finally its instructions.

In your case documentation is the last chance to correct UI errors,
but it ought'n be that way ...

-- Mike Pope
mikep -at- asymetrix -dot- com

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