Computer help is not always helpful

Help PointIt’s very tempting to try to make life as easy as possible for end users by being proactive, ie anticipating what is likely to be useful to them, and then implementing that as a default option (or possibly not even an option, but compulsory).

Perhaps some of your students will be tempted, when designing a computer program for use by non-technical people, to make it as ‘proactively helpful’ as possible. If so, they should beware. A good idea would be to undertake some market research, if only of a rudimentary nature, to avoid the pitfall of merely annoying people.

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