“It’s not my fault.” That’s what Mac OS 8 and 9 would say (text-to-speech) whenever there was an error. That isn’t the nicest way to approach a user. It’s cute, but why does it have to be my fault?
The problem goes beyond error messages. Usability problems on websites are often interpreted as the user’s problem. Of course, that’s not true. One of my colleagues at BestPlaces recently said, if they don’t get it, it doesn’t matter if we think we’re right, we’re wrong.
Just as we should plan for generosity, we should make sure it’s always clear: It’s all my fault.