Home > Insanity! > Why try when you can ask?

Why try when you can ask?

May 17, 2006

Well, that doesn't explain a lot for a title (since it wouldn't fit), so:

Why try to do something when you can ask someone how to do it or do it for you?

I've noticed an increased trend, especially in my work as a developer, to attempt to idiot proof everything, provide insta-help for everything, and attempt some sort of psychic link with all people to anticipate all things.

Good 'ol Douglas Adams wrote, "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."


Case in point: I have worked to create an UPGRADE to an existing web application to meet a customer's needs. One email after another fires back from the customer "how do I…", "what does this do?", "where do I go now?". One important note is that hese 'customers' are the ones creating the training materials and the ones who used the previous system (same look, feel, functionality, etc… the upgrade was a database and code change to a new platform).

So, I imagine these are the types that can go home, put their goods up on eBay, bank online, and buy who knows what from who knows where…

What hit me to make this posting?

A machine gun style email conversation between these customers that boiled down to "How do I save?"

My simple response (with screenshot), was to click the big button at the bottom of the form that said 'Save'. Pretty simple, right?


The response: "Oh, well, that didn't make since [sic] so I didn't want to click it."

HOLY CRAP… are these the people who sit at 4-way stops because they have no LIST of what order everyone goes in? God save us from the complete fools.

Categories: Insanity!
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