Designing for Crisis


Eric’s poignant personal story of a tragic illness in his family powerfully illustrates the need to design for people in crisis. “Don’t make me think,” is a mantra we can’t over emphasize enough. This is critical when people are in crisis and have very limited cognitive capacity. 

  • Make crisis-critical content front and center. 
  • Don’t segregate the crisis content. Put all on one page. 
  • If using forms, plan to make intelligent error messages and provide support options. 
  • User test with simulated lack of focus. CSS motion and blurring or JavaScript word dropouts etc. Use time limits. 
  • Diversify personas and put them in context.