Error tolerance is the design of things to be resilient to human error. The term is applied to user interfaces that are difficult to get wrong. When a human error does occur, error-tolerant designs gracefully detect and handle it. The following are examples of error tolerance.
ValidationValidating input to prevent mistakes. For example, preventing stock orders with a price that is too far from the market price such as a bid of $15 for a stock trading at $5.
Input CorrectionAutomatically suggesting a correction to input. For example, a search that makes a correction based on edit distance. The user is typically given a chance to override the suggestion to allow for unique input.
Input FlexibilitySystems that allow for a wide range of inputs to be understood. For example, a button with a generous touch target so that you don't have to touch it with precision to work. Voice commands may accept hundreds of variations of a single command.
PokayokeConstraints that prevent mistakes. For example, a battery unit that can not be installed incorrectly due to its shape.
UndoThe ability to undo actions or series of actions.
ShutdownA machine that turns off if the user does something dangerous. For example, a camping heater that turns off if it is knocked over.
Friendly ErrorsTelling the end user exactly what's wrong as opposed to a cryptic message or beep.
Clear WarningsWarnings that are clear and direct. For example, an altitude warning in an aircraft that says "go up, go up, go up."
Authentication & AuthorizationSystems of authentication and authorization such that people can't do things without a specifically granted permission. For example, a new employee who doesn't have system authority to accidentally delete your customer database.
LimitsSystems that enforce operational limits. For example, flight envelope protection that prevents a pilot from pushing an aircraft beyond its structural and aerodynamic limits.
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