Glider from the game of Life, rising from the left




Topic: #user-interfaces



A great new way to use Facebook!

Benjamin Grosser, September 19, 2018

Safebook is a browser extension, for Chrome or Firefox, that suppresses all text, images, video, and audio content on the Facebook site, leaving intact the borders around and between panels, the (now blank) menus, drop-down submenus, pop-up windows, and other navigation elements.

#Facebook #user-interfaces #humor

How Alert Systems Fail


Last Saturday morning, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent out an alert warning residents of Hawaii that they were about to be struck by a ballistic missile and advising them to take immediate shelter. They reinforced this message with the flat statement “This is not a drill.” The alert was sent to radio and television statements to be broadcast and texted to cellphone users throughout the state.

The alert was false. A HEMA employee was supposed to be conducting an internal test of the missile alert system. The employee was supposed to bring up a drop-down menu and select the “test missile alert” option. Instead, the employee selected the immediately following option, “missile alert.”

At that point, a confirmation box appeared, asking whether the user wished to proceed with the “missile alert” option. The employee confirmed the operation and the alert went out.

“Hawaii Missile Alert: How One Employee ‘Pushed the Wrong Button’ and Caused a Wave of Panic”
Amy B. Wang, The Washington Post, January 14, 2018

“How a Poor User Interface Design Caused the Hawaii Missile Scare”
Adam Shepherd, IT PRO, January 15, 2018

Hmmm. In my opinion, the error in user interface design was having a "missile alert" option on the drop-down menu in the first place.

#user-interfaces #false-positives

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John David Stone (

created June 1, 2014 · last revised December 10, 2018