Students….Don’t overestimate the user

New user calls support staff early one morning, complaining that his computer won’t power up even though everything is plugged in just as it was the night before. Tech walks down to check it out, finds the user pressing the power button on his empty laptop docking station. Tech asks: “Where’s the laptop?” User: “I left that at home. Do I need that to get on my computer here?” Source

When teaching user interface design and testing we advise students not to assume too much about the capability of the user… and then send them to  for examples of assumptions that you cannot make…

On a more serious note we do teach them to be cognoscente of people that are just learning English and an instruction “Enter age” may yield “a non numeric answer of “ten”… good validation and/or selection menus are required…

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