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To err is human, to forgive design.


A visual comparison between poor and good user experience design outcomes. The left side shows a disorganized array of errors due to bad UX. The right side illustrates the benefit of UX investment with fewer errors, pathways to correction, subtle feedback mechanisms, and alternative solutions.

It just ghosted me.

I was only trying to find a part of the information it was asking me to fill in while its clock was ticking and the information was obviously not stored neither on the mobile screen nor in my memory. So I had to go look for it and before I could come back to it, it ghosted me. It disappeared.

Now my brain has logged this memory, forever, and whenever I come across even a mention of this particular service, it will surface the feelings. I need closure. Otherwise my memory will go on endlessly in a loop and keep reminding me of this task which was left not only undone, incomplete, but triggers self-doubt. In episodic memory information is indexed according to time and place. So it’s not only the memory of the event but also all the details around it.

At each touchpoint, my mind is creating an association with the organization, the brand, the enterprise. It is surfacing feelings and emotions. I am either very happy with the interactions or frustrated. Those are the two pivotal emotions my mind anchors on as I go about my day.

With every interaction, my mind forms a connection with the organization, its brand, and its overall identity. These experiences evoke emotions, ranging from immense satisfaction to frustration. These two contrasting emotions become the anchors for my daily experiences.

The cyclical nature of a user's journey in customer experience, highlighting key phases: Acquisition leads to Activation, which leads to an Aha Moment, followed by Revenue, and culminating in Retention, which loops back to Acquisition.

An ideal software not only streamlines my work but also minimizes errors and enhances my overall user experience. I scrutinize every element of the interface, questioning its purpose and functionality. I prefer to relax in the comfort of my home, especially on chilly rainy days, and conveniently pay my bills or even purchase an electric car while savoring my evening masala chai. I find distractions unnecessary and unacceptable. I particularly dislike it when the software times out, causing me to lose my painstakingly entered data without any feedback or response. Such behavior leaves me feeling abandoned and frustrated.

Do I need to have a distraction, of course not. Do I want it to time out? For whatever reason, I don’t want to lose the window that I have painstakingly offered to fill in all my data to get nothing in response. Nothing. No feedback? No message?

How many times have you filled up a form only to find out that it had timed out or it will require you to call support to log back in? How does that feel? What would happen if you are unable to complete the process? Who else will be impacted, apart from you?

Your personality is made up of  how you think, act, and feel. It is your state of being.
Joe Dispenza


When something invokes cognitive ease, emotional engagement, and behavioral satisfaction, it is likely to be perceived as having a superior quality of goodness. This state of being tends to bring the goodness to the surface.

  • Prioritize an intuitive and user-friendly interface to minimize confusion and effort, reflecting thoughtful design.
  • Incorporate emotional design principles to create an engaging and enjoyable user experience, evoking positive emotions.
  • Emphasize functionality by enabling users to accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively, ensuring a streamlined and productive workflow.


A Venn diagram showing three overlapping circles labeled Thinking, Feeling, and Doing, which intersect in the center to create an area labeled Goodness. This represents the concept that goodness is at the intersection of thoughtful consideration, emotional empathy, and actionable behavior.

Alt text: A conceptual diagram mapping the intersection of Thinking, Feeling, and Doing with attributes leading to Goodness. Thinking aligns with Clarity, Predictability, and Transparency. Feeling is associated with Empathy, Personalization, and Comfort. Doing correlates with Accessibility, Responsiveness, and Performance, all converging on Goodness as the central outcome.

Thinking (Cognitive Trust):

  • Clarity: Users can easily understand the system's functionalities.
  • Predictability: The software behaves in a consistent manner.
  • Transparency: The operations and processes of the software are clear to the user.

Feeling (Emotional Trust):

  • Empathy: The software meets the emotional needs and expectations of the user.
  • Personalization: The software responds to the user's preferences and past behavior.
  • Comfort: The design and interactions make users feel secure and valued.

Doing (Behavioral Reliability):

  • Performance: The software consistently functions as expected without errors.
  • Responsiveness: The software reacts promptly to user input.
  • Accessibility: The software is usable by all individuals, regardless of ability.

Investing in UX is also an essential guard against error.

Poor design can lead to human errors.
Human errors can lead to disastrous outcomes. 

Errors are not accidental; they are silent alarms that signal a design’s failure to communicate, urging us to reevaluate and reshape our approach to user experience. Somebody didn’t spend enough time thinking through the flow or how will it impact the people on the other side of the screen.

The diagram outlines a strategic approach to user interaction design, emphasizing the need for Design to prevent errors, Prevention to anticipate and avoid mistakes, and Correction to address and rectify errors when they occur, suggesting the importance of adaptability in design strategies for optimal user experience.


A statement on error management in design, highlighting that errors vary in severity from Minor to Major to Critical, each necessitating a tailored response: Minor errors require subtle feedback, Major errors need clear correction suggestions, and Critical errors demand alternative solutions to ensure a smooth user experience.

For Minor Errors that have little impact on the user's goals, such as a minor formatting mistake: 

Provide subtle feedback and auto-correct if possible 
(e.g., auto-formatting a date).
For Major Errors that significantly impact the user's goals but can be corrected, like entering incorrect data in a form field:

Offer clear, specific feedback and suggestions for correction. Enable easy undo options or guided correction.
(e.g., highlighting the incorrect field with instructions on how to fix it).

For Critical Errors that prevent the completion of the user's goal and cannot be easily corrected, such as a failed transaction due to a system outage:

Display a clear and empathetic error message. Provide alternative solutions or next steps, such as contacting support or trying again later. Ensure the user doesn't lose their work or progress if possible.


Understanding the context and potential outcomes of errors is crucial in prioritizing efforts to enhance usability, ensuring that systems are robust enough to prevent the most critical errors while being forgiving of lesser ones.

User's journey with critical touchpoints: Acquisition, Activation, Revenue, and Retention. It illustrates that errors can disrupt this cycle, leading to an

Rather than ghosting me, the UI could have frozen and asked if I wanted to continue or try again later. We've saved your information and will send you an email as a reminder to complete the task - this message could’ve saved the relationship.

Cost of rectifying an error in a product’s development phase is 100 times less than fixing it after its launch.

This statistic underlines the importance of integrating UX design early in the development process to identify and solve usability issues, thereby reducing errors and enhancing user satisfaction.

The assertion that the cost of rectifying an error in a product's development phase is 100 times less than fixing it after its launch is based on a widely accepted principle in software development and product management known as the "Cost of Change" curve. This principle suggests that the cost of making changes or fixing errors increases exponentially as a product moves through its lifecycle, from conception through development, and into post-launch phases.

This concept is rooted in several key factors:

Early Detection: Errors detected early in the development process can often be addressed before they are deeply integrated into the product, requiring fewer changes in the code, design, or functionality.

Less Rework: Fixing an issue before the product has been built out fully means less rework is required, as fewer components depend on the part of the product that needs to be changed.

Impact on Users: Post-launch fixes often require patching, updating, or even recalling products, which can significantly impact user satisfaction and trust. These activities also typically incur additional costs in terms of support, communication, and potentially compensation for affected users.

Brand and Reputation: Errors that are significant enough to be noticed post-launch can negatively affect a company's reputation and users' trust in the brand, potentially leading to lost sales and a decrease in user base, which can have long-term financial implications.

While the "100 times less" figure can vary depending on the industry, the type of product, and the nature of the error, the underlying concept holds true across many contexts: identifying and fixing errors early in the development process is significantly less costly than doing so after a product has been launched. This principle underscores the importance of thorough planning, design, prototyping, testing, and quality assurance in product development to minimize post-launch issues and associated costs.

The graph illustrates the inverse relationship between the ease of making changes and the cost of changes across a project lifecycle, from Discovery to Delivery. It suggests that changes are easier and less costly at the start, with the ease decreasing and cost increasing as the project progresses.

A study by the Design Management Institute found that companies that prioritize design outperform their industry counterparts by 219% on the S&P Index over a ten-year period. Good UX design in enterprise applications contributes significantly to employee satisfaction, which is directly linked to higher retention rates and productivity.

Forrester Research states that a well-conceived, frictionless UX design could potentially raise customer conversion rates up to 400%.

Create experiences that understand and adapt to human nature, making every interaction smoother and more intuitive always aimed at ‘letting the goodness surface’. 

Six Effective error prevention strategies include:

  • Conducting usability testing with real users to identify potential issues at each crucial stage of product design and development.
  • Implementing intuitive design principles to minimize user confusion.
  • Providing clear instructions and feedback to guide user actions.
  • Simplify user flows to minimize the number of steps and decisions users need to make, reducing the likelihood of errors.
  • Regularly collect and analyze user feedback to identify common errors and misunderstandings, using this information to refine the UX.
  • Regularly updating systems to fix known issues and improve overall usability. 

When things are built well, they do not break apart. 

That’s how trust is built.
That’s how goodness is felt.