We did a False Alarm Reduction Study for a large public school district many years back. We found that the majority of false alarms were indeed caused by "user error", however we were able to drill down further to determine that most problems were caused by infrequent rather than regular users of the system.
In most schools, you have a core group of "openers" who are usually the first ones to arrive in the morning. Along the same lines, you have a core group of "closers" who are usually the last to leave at night. We found that these people were very comfortable using the alarm system and created very few false alarms.
The ones who did create the problems were teachers and other staff members who had been issued codes to operate the alarm, but rarely came in after regular school hours except on special occasions. In many cases, these people had forgotten either their codes and/or the correct procedures for using them and couldn't disarm the system when entering. To solve this problem, we recommended that the district stop issuing keys and codes to people who didn't regularly open and close the school. We put procedures in place so that teachers who did have a special need to enter the school after hours could be let in by a security patrol officer.
Another big cause of false alarms was people arming the system while other people were still inside. Many schools were so large that teachers had no awareness of other teachers or staff members who were also in the building. A common scenario was that one teacher (Teacher #1) would arrive on a Sunday and disarm the alarm. Another teacher (Teacher #2) arrives a short time later and notices that the alarm is already disarmed, so just enters the school. Teacher #1 finishes up with her work, and being unaware that Teacher #2 is on the premises, rearms the alarm. A false alarm occurs when Teacher #2 walks into the coverage area of a motion detector.
To solve this one, we instituted a procedure where, before arming the system, the teacher would make an announcement over the school's paging system that he or she was about to arm the alarm, and that if anyone was still in the school, they should make their presence known.
In one case, we installed a chime module connected to the paging system that automatically played "Home Sweet Home" for the duration of the exit delay cycle after the alarm was armed. (These days, I would probably use a voice module rather than the chime...) People who were still in the school could then go to a nearby keypad and disarm the system before it became active.
I have a philosophy that most so-called "user error" is actually defective product design and/or bad system layout. If 50% or more of your users are having difficulty using a system, I feel that the blame should fall on the manufacturer and/or installer, not the user. The truth is, most of the systems out there are way too complicated and completely counter-intuitive to operate.
I recently sat through a training session where an integrator was explaining to an end-user how to selectively arm zones on a large Bosch intrusion alarm system. Even with my 40+ years of industry experience, I was having a hard time keeping up. I can only imagine what the end-user was thinking.