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Tragic Design: The True Impact of Bad Design and How to Fix It
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Tragic Design: The True Impact of Bad Design and How to Fix It

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Bad design is everywhere, and its cost is much higher than we think. In this thought-provoking book, authors Jonathan Shariat and Cynthia Savard Saucier explain how poorly designed products can anger, sadden, exclude, and even kill people who use them. The designers responsible certainly didn't intend harm, so what can you do to avoid making similar mistakes?

Tragic Design
Paperback, 220 pages
Published April 29th 2017 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 25th 2016)
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4.14  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Magdalena Skowron
The book is not only about tragic design, it gives you plenty of good design too. Written in a very easy-to-read way, will take you through the design that can kill, anger, sadden and exclude. Will give you an idea how to interact with end-users as well as how to understand/collect/present information about a design.
Ricardo Magalhães
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
Jonathan and Cynthia have done a remarkable job at presenting how poor design choices can sadden, frustrate, infuriate and even kill. The book reads like a breeze, as it's filled with use cases and scenario analyses of situations where poorly thought design choices had a negative impact on a wide range of targets.
The language is clear and simple, which is a remarkable opportunity for the whys to stick you for a long time. And if you're a designer, of any kind really, you will need the answer to
Mike Peleah
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complexity, design
Bad design invokes comments like "my eyes are bleeding". However, bad design (unintentional and intentional) could be much more tragic, causing psychological discomfort and even death. This book documents many cases of bad design and discusses ways we could fix it, using good design to get important things done. The book includes many practical examples and discussions and will be of interest for anyone--as design process benefit from integrating different perspectives.
Jennifer Gottschalk
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that every designer should read. It catalogues a series of 'tragic designs' and discusses what everyday designers can do create outcomes which don't cause inadvertent harm. The material is imparted with empathy and compassion and the focus is very much on making a positive difference through carefully considered design decisions.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s thankfully a short read, but even then it’s fairly repetitive and if you are a UX professional of almost any stripe most of this will be old hat. Having said that, there are a few nice ideas, the examples are solid and compelling and if you’re new the field this might be a good take on the value of user-centered design.
Andrew Galbraith
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Feels somewhat repetitive at points, but the overall takeaway is an interesting viewpoint of what constitutes the good, bad and ugly of design for both designers and non-designers. Should inspire those dabblers in design who want to learn more.
Stacy Holmstedt
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s important to know that this book is in full color (many UX issues involve color) so that justifies the price. Good read with lots of examples from top companies. You’ll want to share with colleagues.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design-related
I really like the example led approach with which each chapter starts and expands the subjects and highlights the solution.
Andi Galpern
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A clear and exceptional guide to thinking through ethical solutions for technology. Jonathan has struck gold with this book. I highly recommend it to all experience designers.
Zoltan Garami
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Nothing really new here, it was just an ok book
Marcus Österberg
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ux
Note that I read the pre-release. Didn't figure that this was super-early material when downloaded late October 2016. Proved a difficult read, often with both amusing and distracting errors. Such as "gorilla user testing", for instance. Some sentences lacked periods, lots of "than" should've been "then" and vice versa.

The book is initially discussing real world design mistakes, but later on dives deep on digital, a topic I think the author managed pretty well and broadly. Personally I'd hoped th
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of good information for the lay reader, but it could have been framed more interestingly and structured in a less academic manner. If not for those two points, I would have given the book a solid four stars. Still worth a read.
Jonathan Shariat
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“Asking if what we are building should even exist is important not only from a philosophical or moral standpoint, but also from a business perspective.” 1 likes
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