I'm currently working on a fairly old product that has been partially reworked 2 or 3 times by different teams. This has left the interface somewhat fragmented with different design patterns used in different modules of the application.

We have been asked to add a new screen to a module from a previous revision. Usually we would adopt the same pattern to keep the interface consistent, however this time we've discovered that using the same pattern is likely going to result in a poor and frustrating user experience.

We are having difficulties trying to agree on the approach we should take. Some agree that the pattern should just be followed to avoid confusing users. Others believe we should try and introduce different design to better suit the users task.

my questions:

  • Should a consistent pattern always be used; even if it is detrimental to the end users experience?
  • At what point does a poor experience make it acceptable to introduce a new pattern (approach?) for a single screen.

1 Answer 1


I know similar situation from my professional experience, where we re-use bad patterns because it is 'consistent'.

The problem is that our application is used by professional users daily, and they have their habits. Having an inconsistent pattern would feel weird. So similar use case = same pattern.

The best decision would be to re-align the bad pattern to the new best practices, but you guess this kind of decision is driven by price, and our DEV would not waste time doing this, so the proposed solution has been to keep consistency and we choose to re-use our bad but old patterns.

That being said, if you are creating a bad user experience -beside the fact that your pattern is not optimal- it is probably because your pattern is not suitable for your use case !

Here, you should go and create your new pattern that is more suitable.

It will not feel weird to have a UI that better suits user needs.

Any other arguments are invalid in this case. User always has the final word.

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