Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Argonne National Laboratory [Public domain]

I’ve mentioned a lot the HBO series Chernobyl a lot recently. It’s well done. But it has me thinking about other instances where our design might lead to more issues than fewer.

Looking at the gas stove I’ve been using over the past week, the gas has to pass through the highest setting before it can be turned off. Basically, to get to 0, you have to pass through 100. Most of the time, this isn’t an issue, but could it be?

Dealing with an irate customer on the phone, do you have to pass the call to a worse supervisor before the company is willing to disconnect the call?

Do you need to make an immigrant pass a wealth test before you can grant them status?

Do you need a student to maintain a GPA before you’ll let them transfer to another program?

All of these can cause catastrophic events that lead to much more damage than the relative efficiency gain in day to day operations, just like the graphite tips in the core of Chernobyl’s reactor.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store