A very interesting article from the online magazine the Verge regarding the company that created and supplies the software alert system that was responsible for the near disastrous incoming BM warning issued to residents and visitors in Hawaii earlier this week.
When considering how our brains function, or don’t, during extreme conditions (an incoming missile being one of them), it’s rather unfathomable that there is no visual differentiation or confirmation between a “test” message and a “real” message.
The company has confirmed that, if creating a message from scratch, there are eight steps involved; if creating from a template: three steps. So users technically can’t just click a button and issue an alert – there are at least three steps. (I personally can’t imagine being able to keep my sh*t together to get through three steps, but then again, what we imagine we’ll do in an emergency situation is often not the case.)
What surprises me is that there is NO FINAL CONFIRMATION messaging when sending out a “live” message. As in, “Are you really sure you want to send an entire state into panic?” Or, “Are you really sure you want to start a war?” Maybe even a second one (a final final confirmation message) just in case cognitively the person isn’t thinking clearly, possibly adding bells, whistles and starbursts. (Studies show the same thing happens to pilots in crash scenarios. The brain can only handle so much at once.)
Word of the day: Confirmation.
Are you sure you want to start a war? Really sure? This action cannot be undone.