And, now the forecast for ‘Edit Location’

nztv

This screen grab of a weather forecast from New Zealand’s TVNZ certainly isn’t a new kind of mistake, but it does make us wonder why people still insist on using placeholder text that can be so easily misaken for real text. Optimally the best solution to prevent things like this would be leave the placeholder areas blank so when a forecasters is scanning his or her lineup, the omission would show up better. The problem with placeholder text like this is that, at a quick glance, it looks like it could be real text.

However, this isn’t realistic in all software since many times the placeholder text is used to preserve the formatting and colors of the characters. However, an alternative option would be to just have a single placeholder character on each line. Again, the idea is to make it much easier to spot such an omission.

One of the first (and best) lessons I learned from my days in newspapers is to never type anything into the computer system you don’t want showing up on air!

To be fair, by the way, we’re guilty of a similar error around here: A few weeks ago we sent out a newsletter with a headline reading “Headline goes here.”

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