Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have I already complained about this?

Honestly, after so many posts (more than 600!) I know I'm a bit of a broken record about some topics. I have my little set pieces.

Telecommuting isn't a substitute for childcare.

You can goof off just as easily in your Real Office cubicle as you can in your home office.

Face time is for the birds, except when your manager really values it, and then you have to figure out how to have electronic face time through passive "I'm here" tools like your IM status.

Yes yes yes, you've heard it all before. The thing I want to complain about today is the utterly reproachful tone of error messages in software. Lately, my email has been giving me lots of scolding: You failed to shut your inbox properly. Your account is over its size limits. We're going to stop sending email. When I read these messages, I hear my own voice, but at age 14 sassing back at my poor mother.

"Um, you FAILED to shut your inbox properLY? Duuuh!"

 I love how web apps approach error messages. I love reading things like "Oh heck. It's probably our fault, but something is not right. Sorry, but could you try again?" Would it kill the folks at the giant traditional software companies to adopt a slightly less accusatory tone in error messaging?

As I say to my children: please use nice words and pleasant voices with each other.

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