Technology is difficult to use, hard to understand, and confusing to configure. But is it really the technology that is confusing or is it what we bring to the technology? Is “Human Error” the cause of our problems?
“Human Error” is a series of projects that examines and catalogs all of the things we do wrong with technology and the Internet, ultimately making them more human than ever. Technology is not only about productivity, instead its most meaningless aptitudes are what get us hooked. Despite our continued belief that technology is to blame, the truth is that technology does not cause these problems, we as users do. We search for solutions through technology and are too often peering through the wrong lens which causes us to do and say things that are ridiculous. “Human Error” is a series of creative interactive works that emphasize human error above determined purposes. Each software or hardware object highlights the errors that we as a population incur on digital devices and objects and emphasizes these defects to create novel interfaces for interaction to expose human frailty.
“Lttr Dial” is the first in this series of “Human Error” projects, and consists of an iOS app that removes the numbers from the phone dialer application. Instead of typing in someone’s numbers, users are forced to remember the corresponding letter combinations associated with each number key to dial the correct number. As we often not only forget phone numbers, trying to remember the corresponding letters can be a challenge even for the most versed cellphone user. The app is a critical instigator that highlights our continued reliance on the cloud and saved data to compensate our own innate memory abilities.
Lttr Dialer System
“Lttr Dial” works like the standard iOS Phone app, but instead of showing numbers, it only shows the corresponding letters for each number. The app forces users to remember which numbers are associated with each letter, making them question why the letter / number combination is important to phone dialing. When texting began, the letters were important to forming words and they continue to be a feature that touchscreen phones still use but have simultaneously made obsolete because these phones can simulate as many buttons as necessary for full text entry.
After a user dials the letter combination, they then tap the “call” icon and like the regular dialer app, “LttrDial” will start to dial the number they have punched in. The result will be either a correct number or a wrong number in which case they will either be successful with the call or have to try again. The app highlights the common errors that we as humans exhibit when using technology and why these errors have become almost second nature to its daily use.
“Lttr Dialer” is available as an iOS application. If you are interested in installing it on your phone, please email me and I will send you the latest version. The app is currently awaiting confirmation for the Apple App Store.