In my previous couple of columns, I discussed a very important aspect of decision-making: relativity—the way people determine value by comparing and contrasting one thing to another. Because people determine value by comparing things, the value of a particular item can seem very different in various situations, depending on what they’re comparing it to. Read More
Why should fancy restaurants print their menus in a font that is elegant, but difficult to read?
Why should scary rides in amusement parks have names that are difficult to pronounce?
How do people assess the risk of food additives in everyday grocery items?
… And what does any of this have to do with UX design and usability?
Every day, your users make judgments and decisions about the products and services you provide based on the way you present them. In this column, I’ll talk about why seemingly insignificant aspects of information presentation can have surprising effects on people’s perceptions and behavior. Read More
In my last column, “Decision Architecture: Helping Users Make Better Decisions,” I talked about how people make decisions and what affects their decision-making process. Although it’s a common assumption that people are largely goal oriented and know what they want, research on decision making has shown that our preferences are actually quite malleable—especially when we encounter something new.
What affects decision outcomes most is the actual context in which people make decisions. All kinds of things affect decision making—the type of decision someone is making, the decision maker’s level of expertise, the number of options available, the way and order in which options are presented, and many others. This column examines how the number of available options affects the decision-making process. Read More