Worse is better can be used in areas such as software, design and project management to mean:

  • Quality does not necessarily increase by adding functions.
  • Less functionality ("worse") is often preferable in practical terms, and especially in terms of usability.
  • A design that is limited, but simple to use, may be more appealing to the user and market than software that is more comprehensive, but harder to use.

It was originally conceived by Richard P. GabrielW to describe software acceptance.

The phrase might be interpreted more broadly, as a warning on the dangers of perfectionism. Doing a "worse" job and getting it done is better than planning a perfect job and never launching.

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Authors Chris Watkins
Published 2009
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
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