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Tempting Fate with End-Users

My brother and I took a rode trip a few weeks ago with my 3 year old nephew. He handled the 5 hours of round trip riding fairly well, with barely a complaint. On the trip back, my brother asked me to give him his coloring book and some crayons - he didn't want his son bored.

Since my brother and I were sitting in the front, and my nephew was strapped into his car seat in the back, we weren't monitoring him closely. Big mistake.

My brother glanced back and realized his son had been drawing all over the vehicle wall. Oops.

This is how developers sometimes handle end-users. We give them the tools to do a lot of damage, and then we are surprised when the users accomplish that task.

Developing greate software requires imagination. We need to think about how others will try to use it. And we need to think about it not just as someone who is trying to accomplish a specific task, but also as a creative prankster might.

And then, we need to try to protect them (and the system) from doing anything destructive.


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