This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of mode error and possible countermeasures (mode error was introduced as a classic pattern behind the label “human error”). Mode errors occur when an operator executes an intention in a way that would be appropriate if the device were in one configuration (one mode) when it is in fact in another configuration. Note that mode errors are not simply just human error or a machine failure. Mode errors are a kind of human-machine system breakdown in that it takes both a user who loses track of the current system configuration, and a system that interprets user-input differently depending on the current mode of operation. The potential for mode error increases as a consequence ...

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