No information is better than bad information

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Have you ever asked someone for directions, only to learn after following their instructions that they were wrong? It's awful. Why didn't that person just tell you they didn't know in the first place? Or maybe they thought they knew but they were simply mistaken? Either way, you're worse off that if that person had simply said: "I don't know".

Applications, websites, reports and user interfaces are the same way, and often times exist solely so that you can more clearly present certain information to someone. If the information you're presenting is wrong though, what's the point? You've actually done more harm than good.

People working in technology sometimes forget this simple truth - that bad information is far worse than no information at all. If you're getting so caught up in the functionality of something, so eager to see it "work", that you're neglecting the actual information being presented, you're doomed to failure.

We're working on an application right now and have decided that in order for it to guarantee a positive user experience, the GPS must be turned on and a coordinate must be retrieved. Could we use cell tower triangulation? Sure, we could. But that also means that a lot of people would be given incorrect information. The application would technically work but we'd be doing our users a huge disservice. Sometimes the best answer is "Sorry, I can't help you right now"

No amount of fancy design or awesome functionality can cover up the stink of bad information.

Are you certain that what you're presenting to your users is correct? If you're not, you have problems with the very foundation of your application.