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#101 - Decision Fatigue

Author face
Article written by
Juan Jesús Millo

Writing of the week

Today I want to do a short article talking about the fatigue or tiredness derived from the decisions we make.

In the end, this article is very complementary to Hick's Law, since in the end it is about the same thing, the negative effects of presenting a user with a significant number of options.

These negative effects are basically: paralysis by analysis and user remorse.

Paralysis by analysis ultimately causes us to overthink the decision we want to make, thinking through all the possible implications of the fact that the similarity of characteristics of the options can overwhelm the user, to the point of not even taking any. How many times have we been irritated because there are 14 all-chocolate cereals in the supermarket?

The second negative effect is remorse, and that is that when we have finally decided which cereal we are going to buy, when we get home we feel that regret of "I probably didn't make the right choice and there were better options". This regret applied to more expensive products causes a higher number of returns, higher burden on the Call Support department, etc... thus affecting the business.

So what can we do? Reduce the number of options, categorise or even prioritise these products to help decision-making (prioritisation based on an alignment of user needs:business needs).

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