The user (you) is drunk. Always. Everywhere

3 minutes read. Published:

This post is clearly inspired by this video related to UI/UX design.

The point is to help the drunk users to get his job done. What I want to make clear is that this principle should be, and partially already is, prosecuted by every discipline, not only UX design. Even if you aren't drunk, sometimes your brain gets in autopilot mode, or you get overwhelmed by emotions, and you become just as dangerous.

Programming language design

Rust

Rust is tailored for drunk programmers. The compiler constantly tries to guide you to a safe solution, helping you to not shoot youself in the foot. It takes care of the house for you (RAII, resource aquisition is initalization), it writes a good implementation for you (zero cost abstractions) and provides help when you fall over (the rust compiler errors are very detailed and often offer a direct help suggestion).

C

C doesn't help drunk users, and that's clear. As a consequence, security issues are abundant.

Nullability

Most languages with the null value aren't tailored for drunk users. It's too easy to miss a check on null and trigger a complete program crash.

Error handling

Error handling must be enforced in some way. Exceptions must be caught, error values must be checked.

Code review

Imagine: You have just spent 3h debugging the same problem. It's 18:00 and you want to get home. You push to the company's git repository to feel relieved to have accomplished something. You don't want to think about that anymore. But that's the problem. At that point, you are stressed and don't have any mental capacity left to check the code for yourself. You are "drunk". fortunately, someone else, hopefully less frustrated than you, can take a look at your code and review it, bringing up all the silly mistakes you made while you were drunk.

Workplace safety

Clearly, you shouldn't work while drunk. But autopilot mode is just as risky. Maybe you have just argued with another colleague about your health insurance and are still thinking about the conversation. Your are "drunk". You may not notice the step in the pavement and fall. You can't prevent that by trying to be more aware of your surrondings. There will always be a time you get "drunk" and fall in the trap.

Driving

Everyone knows driving is risky. Especially if you are drunk or your mind is in autopilot mode. Unsurprisingly, car manufacturers are now adding safety sensors to prevent accidental crashes. Computer driven autopilot will be next.