Some Misguided Error Proofing?
Hilton hotels introduced a new standardized alarm clock that seems to be in all Hilton properties now (including where I am in Midland TX right now). The clock has some nice features, such as pre-programmed music buttons, so if you want “News”, you just press the button and you don’t need to know what AM or FM channel you’re tuning to. Nice example of simplification and standardization. Once I learn how to use the Hilton clock, it’s consistent at each Hilton. Why it’s complicated to set the time on any alarm clock is a whole different discussion.
But, I have one beef — it’s impossible to set the time on the clock. You can set the alarm, but you can’t set the time. I’ve never noticed this because the time has never been wrong I guess. The clock was off (see picture, the timestamp is 11 PM) and I couldn’t figure out how to change it.
I called the front desk and was told that you can’t set the time as a guest. Maintenance has to do it. Ugh. It seems like a case where they’ve “error proofed” the clock, in a way, but they’ve taken away functionality. Was that an error worth “proofing”??
How often does this happen with software, products, or in industrial settings? Is this a fine line between error proofing and being overly cautious in protecting people from themselves?