Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Principle of Least Surprise

An oldie but a goodie.

When you write / design / create, be it a building, a program, a document or something else, try and think what reaction would cause the least amount of surprise to some input (eg. if you walked down a hallway and came to a dead-end, you would probably be surprised, ergo don't design dead-ends into hallways for no reason).

Why then, does the Windows XP "ctrl + alt + del, u" always shutdown straight away, unless there happen to be 50 updates waiting to be installed?  Now I'm stuck waiting for half an hour with a dead computer, because the shortcut I always use to shut down has changed from "shut down now" to "install updates and then shut down".
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