Error Messages Are Evil

Alejandro Tejada capellan2000 at
Sun May 11 17:24:40 EDT 2014

Probably, the point of Mr. Donald Norman is:

Reduce as much as possible the chance of 
human error... (Richmond wrote about this
key concept in a previous message: affordance)

"A truly collaborative system would tell me the requirements
before I did the work. If there are special ways you want 
stuff entered, tell me before I enter it, not afterwards. 

How many times must we endure the indignity of typing in 
a long strong only to be told afterwards that it doesn't fit 
the machine's whims (more accurately, doesn't fit the 
whims of the programmer)?"

Yes, that is the point: The program should guide the users
and collaborate with them... effectively stopping them
of making ineffective or potentially dangerous actions
and guiding users in a smart way.

This sounds really difficult to do. It's very difficult to stop
users from doing what they want, but not impossible.

It's possible, but... it's wise? 

and that is another difficult question
to answer...


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