Error Messages Are Evil

dunbarx at aol.com dunbarx at aol.com
Sun May 11 19:02:49 EDT 2014


I am a person, and I behave like a person. That means that 99% of all mistakes, errors and harebrained methods are proudly mine.


The machine is not perfect; LC has its peccadillos. But I would never have the temerity to accuse the machine being the source of my woes.


Craig Newman



-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Sneidar <bobsneidar at iotecdigital.com>
To: How to use LiveCode <use-livecode at lists.runrev.com>
Sent: Sun, May 11, 2014 4:49 pm
Subject: Re: Error Messages Are Evil


Call me a naysayer, but I think the premise is nonsense. Only a perfect machine 
could conform to those standards, and there is no perfect machine. All will have 
or develop problems, and to not inform the user when that happens is 
irresponsible at best, and disastrous at worse. And it doesn’t help to exclude 
error banners (like some red text in a web page) as being error dialogs. The 
issue is confrontation, and an error banner is every bit a confrontation towards 
the user that a mistake has been made. 

Here is a common scenario: I need the user to enter his full address in order to 
ship the product to him. The end user neglects to enter his street address, or 
perhaps enters the wrong credit card number, and clicks submit. God forbid I 
should punish the poor end user for (dare I say it) making a mistake! Better 
that I just allow the order to go through, and perhaps pick an address in the 
concentric center of what information I have, or just ship the product anyway, 
even though no actual payment has been made, but by all means I MUST NOT present 
the end user with a judgmental ERROR DIALOG, or offend against his frail ego by 
alerting him to any oversight he may have inadvertently made! If the machine 
cannot discern the missing information, then it cannot be human error. It MUST 
be the machine! 

Pure tripe. 

Bob S


On May 11, 2014, at 08:48 , Alejandro Tejada <capellan2000 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Recent article published by Don Norman.
> http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/error_messages_are_e.html
> 
> "Error messages punish people for not behaving like machines. 
> It is time we let people behave like people. When a problem 
> arises, we should call it machine error, not human error:
> 
> the machine was designed wrong, demanding that we conform 
> to its peculiar requirements. It is time to design and build 
> machines that conform to our requirements. 
> 
> Stop confronting us: Collaborate with us."
> 
> 
> 
> --
> View this message in context: http://runtime-revolution.278305.n4.nabble.com/Error-Messages-Are-Evil-tp4679382.html
> Sent from the Revolution - User mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> 
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