Key Takeaways from The Design of Everyday Things : Chapter 5

Human Error? No. Bad Design.

Two Types of Errors: Slips and Mistakes

  1. Slips:
    • action-based
    • memory lapses
  2. Mistakes
    • rule-based
    • knowledge-based
    • memory lapses

The Swiss Cheese Model of How Errors Lead to Accidents

The Swiss cheese metaphor suggests several ways to reduce accidents:

•Add more slices of cheese.
• Reduce the number of holes (or make the existing holes smaller).
• Alert the human operators when several holes have lined up.

Design Lessons from the Study of Errors

  • Adding constraints to block errors
  • Undo
  • Confirmation and error messages
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