re: The Hawaii Missile Alert Was the Software Developer's Fault VIEW POST


Universal Principles of Design - Confirmation:

"Confirmation is a technique used for critical actions, inputs, or commands. It provides a means for verifying that an action or input is intentional and correct before it is performed. Confirmations are primarily used to prevent a class of errors called slips, which are unintended actions."

So my question is, was there any form of confirmation? The use of confirmation is found in many applications of very critical steps, e.g, twist-and-turn, lift-and-twist, lift-and-drag, etc. I remember manual cars had a pull-up-and-pull-back thing for going reverse, a sure way to NOT mistakenly break your engine when at full speed by initiating reverse.

Therefore, if there was a second step confirmation, saying: "Are you really sure you want to initiate inbound missile broadcast? |Enter CONFIRM to proceed", whoever responsible would have known, the drill is going down, for real, and no joke!


If they were both part of the same "dropdown", I'd think that the whole form might have contained an "are you sure" message. So if the form always has an "are you sure" message, it's easy for that to become an ignored message.

Regardless of the details we may never be sure about, it's a reminder/wakeup call to get this sort of stuff right.


Agreed. The interface apparently had a confirmation, but if the confirmation is the same for "Test Alert" and "Actual Alert", then that is a failure of design.

The confirmation for the Test Alert should be boring and grey.

The confirmation for the Actual Alert should be hella loud and striped.

Loud and striped is never the solution. It should simply be distinct enough from the test scenario, and require additional and unique steps to perform.

"require additional and unique steps to perform."

I completely disagree. There should be a single difference between the actual and a drill.

Is this a test or a drill? Yes/No

If the test steps and the real steps are different, then what's the point of a drill?

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