Thursday, December 15, 2005

Users and software - clicking dialogs

There is a concept in software UI that users just click whatever they can to get the software to go away and let them get on with their work. When a dialog pops up users will click the buttons to get rid of it without so much as glancing at what the message says.

Why do they do this? They have been well trained to work this way.

Who trained them? Thousands of poorly designed applications that throw up meaningless dialogs constantly that poor users just have to click to get rid of.

The first 100 times each user saw a dialog they might have read what it said, maybe even written it down on paper to try and work out what was happening. After they realise that these messages are useless, and even mostly harmless, they just ignore them. When you have a culture like that you'll never get a user to read anything.

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