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Are you sure?

Recently, I made a change to a feature in our product that I thought was subtle and might be overlooked by regular users. Instead of providing them an experience where what they were expecting was the old interaction and what they got was the new interaction resulting in frustration, I decided to add an additional step to confirm that the user really understands what they were getting to set the right expectations.

However, within a few hours after releasing the feature, there was a lot of feedback from users complaining that this was an unnecessary additional step that they need to go through each time.

And I right away amended the experience to remove the additional step, and instead provided a way for the user to undo what they had just done in a graceful way. This ensured that the occasional user that ended up clicking through habitual to the old experience had a way of recovering from their error while most users that were paying attention would have a seamless experience.

This was one of the big differences I had noticed on the Mac after moving from Windows where I was no longer asked if I was sure when I asked for a file to be deleted. Instead, the delete simply happened and I could always recover the file from trash if I had made a mistake.

But it was a lesson that I had forgotten and had to relearn.

We are constantly experiencing new things and learning new things. As we continue to learn new things, some of what we learnt months and years ago tend to slip out of our immediate memory and we need a jolt to remember what it was that we had learnt before.

Although there have been books and articles I have re-read and movies and shows that I have re-watched, my frequency of doing so (at least in their entirety) has gone down drastically over the years.

But, to resurface and refresh old learnings that we have forgotten, we don't need to go through the entire learning process that we had gone through back then, i.e. we don't have to re-read the whole book again.

Instead, if we re-read a key chapter, or even a summary or the highlights, that acts as a jolt to the memory and will help us refresh what we had learnt back then.

In the recent weeks, I have started to do this kind of a refresh once in a while, and through that, have introduced an aspect of constant re-learning in my life.

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