School of Information Systems

Eight Golden Rule- error Handling

Preventing errors from happening in the design interface is a very serious issue to deal with. When designing the interface, it is important to keep your customers in mind and how they will deal with using the application. Errors are bound to happen due to specific reasons, the most common reason is incorrect or conflicting data types that are inserted into the system. Through this, the possibilities of whether or not a system will fail increases quite dramatically. However, some errors are simply inevitable, such as the insertion of incorrect characters in the interface. In this case, there must be measures to ensure that the user knows exactly why the error is happening and how they can mitigate the error in hand. The instructions must be very well thought out and detailed yet simple enough for any user to really understand and act upon. Otherwise, the user will not know how to act to the error and may instead go directly to customer support or the FAQ which will not be very time efficient and may lead to negative reviews in behalf of customers.

There are many ways errors can be done, to understand how to prevent them from happening, one must know how an error may happen. This is the biggest use of testing and system implementation since it ensure that the designers can always tell when there are errors and will take action to fix them to prevent them from happening ever again. Of course these tests can be done even before the application goes into public testing or use. What needs to be accounted is how to prevent the errors from happening in the first place which further increases the need for testing the system by professional testers to prevent such errors from ever happening in public use.

The examples of how errors can happen vary wildly. From errors that can be prevented entirely to errors that are simply inevitable to happen regardless how much you try to prevent it from happening, but of course those kinds of error may have ways to mitigate them. One example of repairable errors usually involved with development of the system, namely the software. As this will require system patches to be done to repair the error completely and ensuring it never goes live to public. Inevitable errors are usually connected with the usage of the users themselves and how the use the application. While it is necessary for the designers to ensure that the users cannot force a mass error by flooding the system, some errors are very common and simple. Most notably during signing in to the system. Inserting incorrect password or username is the most common user related errors, however, it is about addressing the errors to the users that becomes necessary in this case. Ensuring the user know what to do when this error happen such as stating if the password or username is correct will help tremendously to the user to fix the error themselves by inserting correct data after that.

With that, errors are always to be avoided as much as possible. However, it is impossible to achieve complete perfection when it comes to software designing and therefore ensuring the software is completely free of errors. So it is important to mitigate as much as possible to ensure the highest user satisfaction levels possible as that is the definition of user experience.

Joni Suhartono