DRMacIver's Notebook

Principles of (Social) System Design

Principles of (Social) System Design

I think the following two points are under-appreciated when designing systems for people:

Therefore when designing systems the most important questions are:

  1. How can we eject bad actors?
  2. How can we retain trust in the system?
  3. How can the system help people to achieve the things that they already want to do?

I have found this to be very true when designing systems for myself (skipping the first step - I may be a bad actor, but I can't eject myself). I don't have enough practical experience at group system design to say for sure it applies there, but just based on what I've observed of other systems' failure modes I'm pretty confident that it does.