Unless we know why someone made a decision, we can’t safely change it or conclude that they were wrong.
Working in a big organization is shocking to newcomers because of this, as suddenly everyone has to be consulted to make the smallest decision. And the more people you have to consult to get something done, the more bureaucracy exists within that company. In short: design systems cannot be effective in bureaucratic organizations. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Who hurt you, Robin?
The story of Jack Garman and the 1202 alarm—as covered in episode two of the 13 Minutes To The Moon podcast.
Next time you’re faced with a decision, ask yourself: how can this decision be made on the lowest level? Have you given your team the authority to decide? If you haven’t, why not? If they’re not able to make good decisions, you’ve missed an opportunity to be a leader. Empower, enable, and entrust them. Take it from NASA: the ability to delegate quickly and decisively was the key to landing men on the moon.
This is an excellent case study!
The technical details are there if you want them, but far more important is consideration that went into every interaction. Every technical decision has a well thought out justification.
A remarkably practical in-depth guide to making ethical design decisions, with enjoyable diversions into the history of philosophy throughout.
A lovely outlook on designing with progressive enhancement:
There will always be users coming from places you didn’t expect, using devices you didn’t test for.
Mikey compares a few different decision-making processes (and in the process describes the fundamental difference between the W3C and the WHATWG).