Everyday Computing, Features

The Exception and the Rule

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

TO deviate from the accepted way of doing things, you need to be confident, self-assured, and most importantly, sufficiently knowledgeable to break the rules that apply. This deviation takes many forms. For example, would you still consider entering a room, if it was evident that you needed to use both hands to open the door? It is surprising that some commercial houses, require you to press a button and pull on the door handle to exit. Did anyone consider how a shopper, with one hand occupied, could safely open the door? On the subject of safety, think about how several of our bus stops are arranged, where passengers dismount on the side facing the traffic. Not at all considerate to the passengers, or to other motorists.

In ICT, it can be justified when you surprise the user by doing something unexpected or unusual, dispensing with the usual rules, if that causes the system to operate more safely, or consistently. If a motorist was spotted ignoring a red light, perhaps a traffic officer would consider whether an occupant was unwell, and had to be taken to get emergency treatment.

It would be interesting to know how the average computer user felt, when something unexpected occurred, assuming that they could recognise these unusual scenarios. Maybe ignorance is bliss, after all, to avoid the ire of the users. In any case, keep calm, and try to identify unusual system behaviour. You may promote yourself at that point, from a casual user, to a more informed and experienced person.

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.
About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design and research.

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