A few months ago, we were at one of the Chinese restaurants on Spadina, and one of the items on the menu was a soup in “high-quality broth”. Of course, my first thought was, “So the rest of the soups use low-quality broth?”
Sometimes I notice things in software that raise the same kind of questions. Here’s the dialog you get when you save a file in Photoshop CS2:
When saving a file, you have an option to “maximize compatibility”. The thing is, they never tell you what the alternative is. Why would you ever choose to not maximize compatibility? Even worse, the dialog explicitly warns you that turning the option off is a bad idea. Seems like a stupid question then, doesn’t it?
Another example of asking what appears to be a stupid question: one web site I use fairly often has an option to use maximum security when signing in. By default, this box is not checked. Again, they don’t tell you what the alternative is, so why the hell would you ever choose to not use maximum security? In this case, the answer is that the maximum security option opens the site in a new browser window. But without giving you that information, they’re just asking you a stupid question.
Keeping your dialogs simple is a good idea, but be careful — sometimes oversimplification can be confusing.