Prevent users from making mistakes avoid Unconscious Mistakes

users are often distracted from the task at hand, provide advice, use constraints and design more flexible programs to prevent the occurrence of unconscious errors.

There is a piece of advice in the ten heuristic usability methods of

: it is important to communicate with the user gracefully, operationally and clearly. However, the first time to prevent the user may be better to make mistakes.


The key point in

‘s discussion of user errors is the responsibility of the error. The word "user error" means that the user should be responsible for doing the wrong thing. In fact, this is not the case, the designer should be designed to allow users to make mistakes and responsible for the program. Therefore, the user is not the wrong solution to blame the user, allowing users to try harder or give them more training, but the redesign of the system is not easy to make mistakes.

1 two types of user errors

It is important to understand the two basic types of errors before discussing how to avoid user errors:

(Slip) and error (Mistake). The two kinds of The Norman Design Everyday Things Don are discussed in more detail. The error occurs when the user wants to do something, but in the end it does something else (usually the same thing).

, for example, a "I" instead of a "O" can be a mistake; it’s also a mistake to accidentally put a hand sanitizer instead of toothpaste on the toothbrush. Errors usually occur when the user is in the autopilot, and when the user does not put all his energy on the things. People make mistakes when they do not have the right purpose for the current problems or tasks, and even if they take the right steps to accomplish their goals, these steps can lead to a false result.

, for example, I understand the meaning of the car’s oil pressure warning lamp, that is the signal of the tire pressure detector, so no matter how carefully I tire inflation, but also can not solve the problem of oil pressure. This is a mistake, because I am trying to accomplish the goal in this context is not appropriate, even if I do not have any mistakes in the implementation of my plan. Error is a conscious error, usually in people’s understanding of the task is incomplete or incorrect information, and the establishment of a model does not match the interface of the mental model of the error occurs.

2 general method to prevent errors

errors usually occur when people are familiar with the goals they are aiming for and the steps to achieve them, but they take the wrong steps while trying to accomplish them. Often, when we are working on a highly skilled task, we tend to be less focused, and we end up making mistakes and taking the wrong actions. It is ironic that expert users who are familiar with the working procedures are often prone to error – making errors, as opposed to learning how to use the system

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