ARTICLE SUMMARY: The philosopher George Santayana is credited with the saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

It is important to look back and examine our successes to see how it was achieved and can it be replicated. Even more important we need to look back at our failures and try and learn how we can avoid making the same mistakes twice.

George Santayana’s saying can also be applied to design.

UX lessons from a 17th-century warship disaster” by Slava Polonski, PhD is a dive into a maritime disaster from 1628 and how the root causes and actions can be applied to today’s design world. This article goes into

  • The disaster
  • The leadership mistakes (VPs)
  • The research oversights (UXRs)

It does not matter the failure or disaster, there is a pattern that parallels all situations and can be applied to any business or venture.

Whether it’s setting unrealistic expectations or overly ambitious timelines we need to keep track of both successes and failures to avoid repeating the latter.

Slava Polonski concludes his article reminding us “The lessons it teaches us about leadership are surprisingly relevant, even centuries later. It teaches us that in product design it’s not just about the features, it’s also about the balance. It’s not just about speed, it’s also about quality. And it’s not just about the launch, it’s also about the journey.”

This is a great article for all designers, especially those designers just starting out.

Let us know what you think in the comments.