Unintended consequence: humans love to ‘fix’ things

Big fish need little fish, which need plants.

In order to create usable experience you can’t try to make order out of chaos, you’ve got to find the order within it. That’s my elevator speech for what i do. Otherwise the act of ‘helping’ or ‘fixing’ will undoubtedly result in unintended consequence. I am reminded of this when folks call for a redesign of amazon.com to make it more usable. The site that has survived the first crash and is holding up under the weight of the second one. Let’s fix it. (it could use a few tweaks here and there, but bottom line is it is doing what better designed sites try and fail to do – make money)

I post this because several articles/posts have emerged in my rss feeds that mention this phenomenon:

“from the funny-how-that-works dept

Overhyped Fear Of Child Predators Leading To Real Concerns About Child Privacy

“from the unintended-consequences dept

Blu-ray Working Great, For Pirates

We need to understand the forces at work when we make changes and accept that there will be unintended consequence to our actions. We can never just fix one experience or one site. We are always altering a broader ecosystem of stuff and things. The only way to ‘control’ fate – accept this law, be aware of the consequences and continuously adapt.


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