Bad design in action: The false Hawaiian ballistic missile alert

Instead of selecting “DRILL – PACOM (CDW) – STATE ONLY” from what looks more like a list of headlines on The Drudge Report than a warnings & alerts menu, the operator chose “PACOM (CDW) – STATE ONLY” and sent out a real alert.

The design for this is obviously terrible. As others have noted, there are better interfaces for confirming much more trivial actions on our phones. In Mailchimp, the service that powers the Noticing newsletter, you are asked to manually type in the word “DELETE” as a confirmation for deleting a template (an action a tiny bit less consequential than sending out a ballistic missile launch alert):