There’s No Such Thing as User Error


The name of the first programmer to ever code a popup window telling a user that they had made an error is undoubtedly lost to history, but the impact of that one simple choice resonates even today. That early coder, faced with the difficulty of building software set a dangerous and counter-productive precedent we as a community have internalized to our detriment.

It created an adversarial dichotomy between developer and user, based on the false assumption that such a thing as a “user error” exists. It does not.

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