Dumbest question ever

17 Oct 2010  user-interface

Some survey once showed that the dumbest question known to mankind is “Are you sleeping?” I don’t get it. That seems like a perfectly valid question. If you get no answer it means “yes” and if you get any answer at all it means “no”. Couldn’t be simpler.

No the dumbest question ever must surely be this one:

Screenshot of a dialogue box with the question "do you want to save your changes…"

It is also probably the one question computer users are asked most often. I feel this most pointless of all questions can only be properly answered like this (click to enlarge):

Screenshot of a fake UI with ridiculously long button texts.

I recently started using Scrivener, and it is intelligent enough to just assume that you want to keep your changes when you close a document; it automatically saves while you’re working on it. It also assumes that you are intelligent enough to use the “undo” command if you have made changes you don’t want to keep. I wish more applications would have this kind of confidence in its users.