Designing In Errors

TiVo’s “self-destruct button” destructs [the broken link was removed]

In so doing, they’ve created a bunch of potential failures in which the user is locked out of her own equipment.

It’s like those movies where an accident or a bad guy triggers the “self-destruct button” on a spaceship. Often the self-destruct button is locked away behind plexiglas and padlocks for safety, but wouldn’t it be safer not to include a single command that blows up the whole space-ship?

You know that is a pretty good explanation of the reasoning behind mistake proofing: eliminate as many possibilities for errors as possible. When you design products that create more possibilities for more errors you create products that will in fact fail more often.

Related: Usability FailuresDell, Reddit and Customer FocusComplicating SimplicityManagement Improvement Dictionary

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