Safe design vs Right design

A short tale of two homes

Here are the two proposals presented to the team. The second one became official. Why? It’s SAFE. It has the most commonly used structure, which would help reduce the users’ learning curve. It couldn’t be wrong. Right? Well, that was at least what the decision maker said. In my humble opinion, it’s not wrong, but I would go with the former one because I think it’s RIGHT.

Here’s the context. As more and more brands go online, our current Weekly Brand popup could not handle the demand anymore. It could only display one brand each time. So we needed something that was able to show more activities all at once. We also planned to roll out more Content ( Tips, brand stories, experience journals, etc. ) to attract more users.

The first proposal is a natural evolution of the “Weekly Brand”. We replace the Popup with a floating panel to show more brand activities. Moreover, since it only occupies a small portion of the screen, and can be hidden with a downward swipe, it doesn’t hinder the performance of the MAP at all.

The floating panel can be dismissed by tapping the map / Drap upward to reveal more content

Why a map ? The reason is beyond COOL. Our user research shows that the frontline jobseekers ( which are our core users ) prefer a closer job location over all else. It’s because the salaries paid by different brands are identical( Yeah, be it McDonald’s, Starbucks, Uniqlo or H&M. They’re all the same.) Besides, their promotion schemes are largely similar, too. So, location is the king.

By showing the user’s location on a map along all available stores, the job seeking experience is thus made much more straightforward.

Talking about the second option. There’s nothing terrible. The users still can use the map if they switch to the Map View. Again, it’s safe. It’s the “if-not-right-it-would-not-be-wrong-either” design. If you do a so-called Competitor Analysis, you could definitely tell the fact that everybody is following this path. So where the heck could it be WRONG ? Well, it couldn’t be wrong, indeed. It just turns us into … EVERYBODY.


Compared with SAFE designs, the cost of finding THE RIGHT ONE is much higher. It takes more time, yells for more investigation, may cost more money, and sometimes it could turn out to be nothing. But here’s the truth: There were people who invented the wheels. Then came the ones who would say, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” Then a third bunch of guys came, and eventually put people high up in the sky.