13:11 Anticipate Typical User Errors
Strength of Evidence:
Document Type: Guideline
Controls and Widgets
Use the computer to detect errors made by users.
Do not expect that users always will make correct entries. Anticipate possible user errors, and when possible, allocate responsibility to the computer to identify these mistakes and suggest corrections. For example, if a date is entered as ’February 31,’ the computer should generate an error message asking for a revised entry.
Design the site’s search engine (and other places where users enter data) to accommodate common misspellings and certain other errors.
Bailey, R.W. & Koyani, S.J. (2004). Searching vs. linking on the web: A summary of the research. Health and Human Services Technical Report.
Bailey, R.W. (1983). Human Error in Computer Systems. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Pew, R.W. & Rollins, A.M. (1975). Dialog Specification Procedures (Report 3129, revised). Cambridge, MA: Bolt Beranek and Newman.
Smith, S.L. & Mosier, J.N. (1986, August). Guidelines for designing user interface software. The MITRE Corporation Technical Report (ESD-TR-86-278).
Here the search engine responds to a possible spelling error by suggesting a likely spelling correction.
Title: Forgiving format
Description: This design pattern describes how an application can intelligently interpret text entered despite typical variations in format.
Related Usability Guidelines: