Some things in life require an extra layer of confirmation; a nuclear launch for example. I’d be quite happy if, after having entered the launch codes and turned the keys simultaneously, a big monitor in the centre of the bunker flashed up with the message “Are you sure?”
It’s a valid question in such circumstances. And maybe, having been faced with such a succinct and direct challenge to this particular course of action, the President would pause for a moment of quiet contemplation, look up and see the tears in the frightened eyes of all around him, and conclude that there had to be a better way; that despite having lost the entire Eastern seaboard, condemning the entire world to annihilation just wasn’t going to make things any better.
But if I just want to log off the printer, such a failsafe really is an infuriating waste of my time.
Say that I had accidently logged off when I didn’t want to. Do you know how quickly I can log back in again? Really fucking quickly; I’ve got a swipe card and everything. Honestly, it takes the same amount of time to log back in than it does to confirm my unwillingness to log out. It’s a needless extra step in the process that I have to complete again and again and again, and it really pisses me off. At least the printer only does it once per interaction. My computer does it ALL THE BLOODY TIME!
If I’m about to lose a shitload of work because I haven’t saved, then fine – warn me about it. If I’m about to delete something permanently, then super – thanks for the heads-up. But don’t go out of your way to interrupt the utterly inconsequential thing I want to do by ominously flashing up a message that tells me I’m about to do the thing I wanted to do, and am I sure that I want to do thing thing that I’ve indicated I want to do? Yes, I want to do it! That’s why I clicked that button. To do it! Stop second guessing me!
Why can’t they program in something that learns how many times you answer “Yes” in a row and then stop flashing the damn thing up once the computer learns that ‘hey, this clever fucker knows what he’s doing’? If some computer-illiterate numpty is benefiting from being told that the button they pressed is going to have unforeseen consequences, then by all means spoon-feed them a steady diet of warnings and prompts. Hell, give them an extra layer of clarification in Word as well…
YOU PRESSED THE SPACE BAR. ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO FINISH YOUR PREVIOUSLY-TYPED WORD AND EMBARK ON CONSTRUCTING ANOTHER?
But leave the rest of us alone. You’re making me feel like I can’t be trusted to do anything right. I’m trying to close a web page, for Christ’s sake, not order a nuclear strike.