The Nipple As Bad Design

The only truly intuitive interface is the nipple.
— Jay Vollmer

I’ve always kind of liked this quote. But recently, I realized, it’s all wrong. Not only do many babies need to learn to breast feed, but the human nipple is terribly unpredictable.

If a baby suckles on a male nipple, nothing happens! Suck on a female nipple, and only then do you get results. A baby could become totally discouraged from the first attempt and stop suckling on nipples. It would arguably be insane to do anything else.

The hallmark of a bad interface is doing unpredictable things when pressing the same button. So shame on you, evolution.

3 thoughts on “The Nipple As Bad Design”

  1. I disagree that “nothing happens” when sucking on a male nipple. Maybe nothing for a baby looking to nurse, but there can definitely be “results” in a different context.

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