Old Post No.2

The blame game…..

Posted by sakshigupta on September 21, 2007

Its so true…..The fact stated by Marty in yesterday’s class that in human-computer interaction, we tend to always blame ourselves for all the faults and anything that goes wrong. During this discussion in class , I could clearly recall the time when I had this same thought a few days back while conducting the usability test for Youn’s project.For all the tasks that our naive users could not perform, they felt really sorry that they were not able to achieve them and tried to provide an explanation that it was their first experience with the tool or that they didn’t know much about it. And it took us a while to make the user understand that they were not at fault and infact the design was faulty and they could easily blame it for all the failures.

However, I observed a different kind of trend with people who had more computer experience. They did not blame themselves completely and were doubtful if it was the systems’ fault or their lack of knowledge.

Just a few days back, I was reading an article by Suchman in which she says that, we consider computers to be complex, have a mind of their own and “internally opaque”. And I think this is what makes humans to react in such a way to computers. A novice, thinks computers to be complex and since he does not understand it , blames himselves for all the faults. While for a more experienced person, the computer is comparatively transparent, and thus he does not blame himself all at once. Though it does create a doubt in his mind, as he also does not understand it completely.


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