The principle of least astonishment

Another post written mostly on the train, so apologies in advance for any dodgy formatting! I’ve still got a bit to learn about the mobile version.

I find my Twitterfeed an absolute mine of useful, useless, strange and wonderful information. So I was delighted yesterday, on following links from this post by Wikipedian @wittylama:

“Where the Public Domain starts should not be where common courtesy ends. See:… #glamwiki #Commons #PublicDomain #PD
Twitter for iPad • 7/06/11 5:06 PM

to come across “the principle of least astonishment”.

“The POLA states that, when two elements of an interface conflict, or are ambiguous, the behaviour should be that which will least surprise the user”

I think this principle holds good way beyond software design (restaurant meal descriptions spring to mind), however we should also leave room for some surprises in our lives!


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One Response to “The principle of least astonishment”

  1. On the Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project « Domestic Blend Says:

    […] harks back to the Principle of least astonishment  – do library catalogue clients get results that are relevant to their search terms? Given that […]

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