As someone that works troubleshooting stuff, I've seen a surprising amount of people that, when confronted with messages, warnings and errors, tend to seek help fast (or early in the process) in the hope someone will understand what their problem is, rather than reading the error and searching directly for a solution, or solving what they did wrong independently. To illustrate this, consider an example (I'm not sure if this captures the qi of the problem, but here it goes):
User $A$ performs a certain action that leads to the current error/warning/message:
Error: your input was greater than two, please use $X$ tool when input is greater than two.
When the user is presented with an error message, there are 4 things that could happen:
- User comes back and uses the correct tool.
- User tries again until frustrated.
- User tries again until frustrated and seeks help.
- User tries again until frustrated, seeks help and doesn't get it. The user either figures out the message or just leaves things as they are.
My question: why do endings
4 happen? Is the message too difficult for some people to understand, or do they believe they are not wrong and the tool should do what they want or the message should be more calling (IN CAPS or bold)? Do people ignore seemingly perfectly crafted messages? Or have we learned to ignore them, given all the media with which we are bombarded?