Tragic Design

Tragic Design

The Impact of Bad Product Design and How to Fix It

Jonathan Shariat, Cynthia Savard Saucier

If when we ask ourselves “What’s the worst that could happen?” there is a chance that something might hurt or kill someone, then it should become a priority, even if the odds of this happening are really slim. The safeguards put in place can be annoying to some users. However, we argue that it’s perfectly acceptable to be annoying to most of your users, if it’s to avoid causing pain to a minority. Preventing harm to a user should always triumph over a feature. For example, when a visitor searches for “sad,” the blogging platform Tumblr will offer help instead of actually showing the search results (see Figure 4-8). Even though this might be useless to most people and forces an extra click, it could make a great difference for a few users. It is absolutely worth it. In addition, it shows other users the genuine care Tumblr has for them and the rest of the user base.

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