Hall's Rules of Social Order

Hall’s Rule of Social Order #94

19 November, 2012 (12:00) | Hall's Rules of Social Order

User education is not an acceptable replacement for quality or good process.


Stop trying to pass it off as if it is.  We’ve all been there, I’m sure.  Someone is trying to sell you something, or give you something they don’t want, but you have to do something special in order to get the thing to work properly.  I see this a lot in my work place, where users can “break” something and the root cause is user error.  There’s certainly a line to draw between writing software that tries to prevent users from themselves, but when things need to be done in a certain way, and the software allows that certain way to be circumvented, that’s a problem with the software.

Some of the stuff I see is just ludicrous.  We bring in 3rd party applications that don’t do what we want, but we pay out the wazoo for them.  We reason that we just need to have a lot of user training to make sure they know how to use the system and know all the quirks.  That’s bad design my friends, and like Hall’s Rule of Social Order #189 says, change will only come when you demand it.