Monday, 1 May 2000
The printer does not do a thing. Here I am, waiting in vain for a print out that doesn't come. Gr, Why pick on me? I know for sure that I distinctly pressed the print button in the toolbar Why am I still waiting?

What a disappointment. I walk back through the hallway, into my office. Here is the cause of my frustration. The screen shows a dialogue window, with a dozen print options. Huh? Why pick on me? Alan Cooper, The Essentials
of User Interface Design

I couldn't care less about all these options. I just want a print, and I want it now. Reluctantly I click the OK button, and yet again walk my way to the printer.

What went wrong? Why didn't I anticipate that dialogue window? And why did this stupid dialogue window show up in the first place? Readers of Alan Cooper's book About Face know this type of questions.

Problem Solution
Dialoge is unpredictable Keep interfaces predictable.
    Say what you're going to do. Do what you say:
  • Show three dots '...' in a button, to indicate that a dialogue window will follow.
  • Ask no further questions and get going if the use presses a button without dots.
Dialoge is redundant Design for probablity, not for hypothetical possibilities.

It is very well possible to set all kind of print parameters, but most likely I don't want to set anything and will immediately press the OK button.

Offer a 'slow' alternative via the menu bar for little used possibilities. Better sometimes a diversion via the menu, than click the OK button in annoyance most of the time.

I end with a prediction: Next week a new Nut's Weekly.
April 2000 · Predict · Screen · Shut up · Writer · Mirror · June 2000
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