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Chapter One. Background > Definition of a Humane Interface

1-6. Definition of a Humane Interface

You can have any combination of features the Air Ministry desires, so long as you do not also require that the resulting airplane fly.

Willy Messerschmidt (preeminent World War II German aircraft designer)

An interface is humane if it is responsive to human needs and considerate of human frailties. If you want to create a humane interface, you must have an understanding of the relevant information on how both humans and machines operate. In addition, you must cultivate in yourself a sensitivity to the difficulties that people experience. That is not necessarily a simple undertaking. We become accustomed to the ways that products work to the extent that we come to accept their methods as a given, even when their interfaces are unnecessarily complex, confusing, wasteful, and provocative of human error.


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