It's A Pebcak Error
human–computer interaction practitioners, the more formal human error term is used in the context of human reliability. Related terms such as PEBKAC layer 8 error (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair), ID-10T error (idiot error), and other
similar phrases are also used as slang in technical circles with derogatory meaning. This usage implies a lack of
computer savvy, asserting that problems arising when using a device are the fault of the user. Critics of the term argue that the problems are caused instead by a device
User Error Meme
that doesn't take into account human limitations and is thus designed in a way that induces errors. The term can also be used for non-computer-related mistakes. Contents 1 Causes 2 Acronyms and other names 2.1 PEBKAC 2.2 ID-10-T error 2.3 Other 3 See also 4 References Causes Joel Spolsky points out that users usually do not pay full attention to the computer user error joke system while using it. He suggests to compensate for this to make usable systems, thus allowing a higher percentage of users to complete tasks without errors: If you sit down a group of average users with your program and ask them all to complete this task, then the more usable your program is, the higher the percentage of users that will be able to successfully create a web photo album. To be scientific about it, imagine 100 real world users. They are not necessarily familiar with computers. They have many diverse talents, but some of them distinctly do not have talents in the computer area. Some of them are being distracted while they try to use your program. The phone is ringing. WHAT? The baby is crying. WHAT? And the cat keeps jumping on the desk and batting around the mouse. I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Now, even without going through with this experiment, I can state with some confidence that some of the users will simply fail to complete the task, or will take an extraordinary amount of time doing it. Experts in interacti
called Shark Bait. It was targeted at IT staff, and anonymous users often shared stories from their http://www.digitalmediamachine.com/2012/07/tech-support-stories-id-10-t-and-other.html workplaces. Sometimes they were about confusing technologies (which everyone has suffered through) or frustrating office politics. At other times, the stories were about people failing to follow instructions, mixing up different technologies, or otherwise behaving in a clueless matter when calling the IT support desk ("where can I get a Google Docs for Dummies?"). No names user error were ever used in these stories, of course. I recently spotted a reddit thread about the secret codewords that are used at some companies to describe certain types of customers. A gaggle of IT staff weighed in with their code names for stupid computer users, starting with this comment: I work at an IT center. We regularly it's a pebcak talk about the "id 10 T" error. Meant that we were dealing with an idiot. Other terms/acronyms followed: PICNIC: Problem In Chair, Not In Computer TSTO:Too Stupid To Operate EBK:Error Behind Keyboard EBCAC: Error Between Computer And Chair PEBKAC: Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair. Layer 8/9 error: There are seven layers in the OSI model of computer networks. The 8th layer is the user. Code 18: The problem is located 18 inches away from the monitor. EEOC:Equipment Exceeds Operator Capabilities FB-PC: F***tard behind PC OHE:Operator Headspace Error C2K: "Chair to Keyboard" problem CBE: Carbon-Based Error ESO: Equipment Smarter than Operator When tech support acronyms go too far While secret codewords and acronyms help IT staff relieve the boredom or frustrations of their own jobs, it's cruel to be on the receiving end of these jokes. Sometimes, things can go too far. It's easy to create a culture of "us vs. them" or build up so much contempt for users that a culture of mutual hostility emerges and festers.