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, I discussed how the number of options in a choice set affects decision making. In this column, I’ll talk about the implications of a choice set—that is, how the relationships between and among options affect people’s ability to decide.
Let’s begin by addressing a very important reality that carries significant impact on human beings’ ability to make decisions effectively: the concept of relativity, through which people assign value to something—anything—by comparing it to something else. Since we do not possess an inherent ability to judge the value of something in isolation, we determine value by comparing and contrasting one thing to another.
People do not make judgments and decisions in a vacuum. They make them against a backdrop of available options. And a choice set—what the options are and how they relate to each other—is an important aspect of the context in which they make decisions. Read More