Home | 18 September 2023

When high quality conflicts with solving user needs

Imagine you go to the DMV.

The DMV has a waiting time of 3 hours.

One employee walks up to you and says “oh well hey we have a new beta program for you, and you’ll only need to wait 1 minute instead of 3 hours.”

Another employee appears out of nowhere and chimes in “hey yo 1 minute is not good enough for our standard. We can’t let anyone use it for now. Please go back to the 3-hour queue.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and had many interactions with users where they begged to use a subpar, sometimes unfinished, sometimes paid, feature because it would’ve saved them hours of their lives.

If I were to be honest with the users during a Zoom call, I wouldn’t have been able to reject them in good conscience.

“Play pretend to be honest to users in a face-to-face convo” should be a product development principle.