Principle of least suprise

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The principle of least suprise applies to software design, user interface design and ergonomics. It is alternatively referred to as the rule or law of least astonishment.

A textbook formulation is "People are part of the system. The design should match the user's experience, expectations, and mental models."[1]


  1. ^ Saltzer, J. H., Kaashoek, Frans, Principles of computer system design: an introduction, 2009, Morgan Kaufmann, ISBN 978-0-12-374957-4, page 85

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