I recently revisited a book I read a few years ago called Nudge by Robert Thaler and Cass Sunstein, and it hit me that the concepts of “Choice Overload” and “Choice Architecture” are very relevant to building software.
- Behavioral economists have shown that in some instances presenting consumers with many choices can lead to reduced motivation to make a decision and decreased satisfaction with choices they end up making.
- This concept revolves around the idea of designing options in a way that leads consumers towards desired behaviors without limiting choice.
My takeaways in the context of software are that:
1. Offering too many options may result in poor user experience in addition to adding complexity for things that may only be used by few customers. As such, we need to be very deliberate about which options we provide to users.
2. When designing features, do it in a way that leads users to make a decision that we –as experts in our industry — believe is optimal.
Just some food for thought. If you want to learn more about it but don’t want to read the book, check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choice_architecture