If you’ve read enough articles on this blog, you probably know that I like to analyze application user interfaces. For Christmas, I ordered a copy of the Suicide Squad book for my son to give to my daughter, but later realized that my wife already had a copy. So, I dutifully hopped on amazon.com and cancelled the order. The order was in the process of being picked for shipment, so Amazon couldn’t guarantee it would be cancelled, but what surprised me was the option they presented to enable me to order the product again. See the figure below:

I laughed out loud when I saw it; was that really a use case? Someone was canceling an item only to reorder it? As I thought through the options, it just didn’t seem to make sense. My thought was to write about the silliness of that option, but as I wrote this post, I realized that there were some valid cases for this approach. As the order is being processed, I can’t change the credit card or the shipping address, my only option is to cancel the order (if I can) and place it again with the right options.

So, what looked like a stupid UI capability actually makes sense (although it took me quite some time to find the right reasons for the feature).

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