by Daniel Punch
While sleeping through a lecture recently I roused for just long enough to catch the lecturer saying that "Error messages should not try to be funny or amusing, they should be clear and concise". This got me thinking about the ever-elusive goal of user friendliness. The concept has changed much over the years with packages such as DOS going from being one of the easiest packages on the market, to now being complicated, convoluted, and ignored. I have begun to wonder why I am being taught that computers have to be boring to be user friendly.