Your website sucks because it's too consistent
This topic was generously suggested by Tom Kerwin in a conversation you can watch here.
It’s so nice to bring order to chaos.
Each element of your website drawn from a comprehensive design system, ensuring no erratic, out-of-place details to distract from the unity of your vision.
Some websites have a slapped-together, design-by-committee look and feel that distracts, confuses, and undermines trust. Not yours!
Bad news, though: it’s possible to take it too far.
For example: in the quest to provide a consistent experience across all popups on your site, you might find yourself creating something like this:
“Confirm/Cancel” as popup options make sense for most actions. Send this email? Confirm. Update your photo? Eh, cancel.
It’s just this one action where things break down.
So if every other popup on the site has the same two buttons, what are you supposed to do - just change this one? Break the consistency of the entire site?
Here's what you can do
Have a design system, and be consistent. Just be willing to make exceptions.
You don’t have to throw out the harmonious patterns you’ve created. 99% of the time they will be the right answer.
And a regular practice of user testing, session recording analysis, and auditing chat logs for user frustration will point you to the 1% of cases where you need to break with convention.
So: be consistent.
But also: listen to your users. And fix points of confusion before they screenshot them on Twitter.