Remaking Risk-Based Decisions: Allowing Ourselves to Change our Minds.

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Recent news highlights an accident involving a product with tragic results. This podcast explores this as cautionary tale and example outside of our own design house. The goal is to shift our perspectives to let us gain a better understanding of risk-based decisions.

We also talk about allowing ourselves room to change our minds about risk acceptability when we learn new information, both during the design process and from the field.

I'll be following this story to see what happens. I suspect it may be years until it's fully resolved.

What do we do with this information today?

  • We can recognize that use environment and user process is a really important input into the design process, not just for dependability and user experience but also for safety.
  • Remember that people make decisions on if a product's design is ready to sell to consumers. Risk analysis can help us evaluate the information so we can make the best decision possible.
  • We need to allow ourselves room to change our minds about the acceptability of a product given new information. Sometimes that's having a contingency plan.

Once you've had a chance to listen, I want to hear from you. You can comment on this podcast blog. What is one consumer product that you use that has built-in safety features as part of the design that you appreciate?

If you like this podcast or have a suggestion for an upcoming episode, let me know. And share this podcast with your designing peers.

If you want to read the press releases and articles we talked about in this podcast, they're cited here:

“CPSC Warns Consumers: Stop Using the Peloton Tread+.” United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, release no. 21-113, 17 Apr 2021.

“Peloton Refutes Consumer Product Safety Commission Claims, CPSC Publishes Misleading, Inaccurate Bulletin on Tread+ Product Safety.” PRNewswire, 17 April 2021. PRNewswirewww.prnewswire.lcom/news-releases/peloton-refutues-consumer-product- safety-commission-claims-301270942.htm 

Pisani, Joseph. “After child dies, US regulator warns about Peloton treadmill.” AP News, Associated Press, 17 Apr 2021. 

UPDATES since this podcast aired

May 2021 Recall Notice from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission: Peloton Recalls Tread+ Treadmills After One Child Died and More than 70 Incidents Reported |

Nov. 2021 podcast interview with Peloton CEO: Safian, Bob, host. "Rapid Response: How Peloton keeps pushing through resistance, w/CEO John Foley." Masters of Scale: Rapid Response, WaitWhat, 4 November 2021,