The ballistic missile alert scare last week terrified a lot of people and has been the subject of some serious scrutiny. We now know a little bit more about what happened, and believe it or not, it would seem a poorly-designed drop down menu is at the center of the calamity.
Perils of bad UX in government software! Dropdown had 'Test missile alert' & 'Missile alert' one after another. Operator mistakenly chose latter option! -> "Hawaii missile alert: How one employee pushed the wrong button & caused a wave of panic" https://t.co/HJ5ZwxwrPG pic.twitter.com/TTOPYCjkYw— Amit Ranjan (@amitranjan) January 15, 2018
The employee clicked the wrong selection, and (according to some sources) clicked the confirmation out of habit, and that was it. That was all it took to send out an alert that terrified millions. There was no secondary confirmation required, no special permissions, nada.
"In the past there was no cancellation button. There was no false alarm button at all,” Rapoza said.— Dylan Wilbanks, Human Grumpy Cat (@dylanw) January 15, 2018
And people still ask me why I care more about users, goals, flows, and research more than "making it pretty."
My questions; how could that ee “accidentally” push a wrong button?What procedure was ee following that would have their finger in the proximity of the button?Was it a trading error, procedural error, or ee neglect?Accidents don’t happen they are caused.— Pappyt (@Pappytx1) January 15, 2018
I have to be honest the system really sucks if the test alert and real alerts are in the same drop down menu.— The Humble Peasant (@aHumblePeasant) January 15, 2018
Sadder yet, and as a resident of Hawaii, knowing within the first 3-8 minutes Trump KNEW it was a false alarm AND CONTINUED TO GOLF. While family's were climbing in manholes & terrified, the president golfed. For 38 minutes he left us in fear & our thoughts & wild imaginations— B Backerman (@BBackerman1) January 15, 2018
People keep talking about Trump playing golf while a false alarm missile alert was rattling Hawaii. AND??? NEWS FLASH: NORAD did not contact the POTUS with a inbound warning. ZERO reason for Trump to interrupt his golf game because there was ZERO threat.— Oscar Wilde (@OscarWildeGrey) January 15, 2018
President Trump should have stopped fucking golfing for ten seconds to tweet that the Hawaii missile attack was a false alarm. People were in TERROR for 38 MINUTES! But the #ShitholePresident couldn't even interrupt his golf game to tell them all was OK.— Jared Ogden (@jaredogden101) January 14, 2018
Just glad Trump was playing golf otherwise he might have hit his big button to— Steve (@myjockwon) January 15, 2018
Is the same procedure in place for the President and the nuke buttons?— WaitinonImpeachment (@Tjierra) January 15, 2018