‘But is expanded choice good or bad?’, from The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

I use this study as an example with *so* many projects these days that I thought it might be useful to share the original source with you here. Schwartz is sharing the findings from a series of studies titled ‘When Choice is Demotivating’…

One study was set in a gourmet food store in an upscale community where, on weekends, the owners commonly set up sample tables of new items. When researchers set up a display featuring a line of exotic, high-quality james, customers who came by could taste samples, and they were given a coupon for a dollar off if they bought a jar.

In one condition of the study, 6 varieties of the jam were available for tasting. In another, 24 varieties were available. In either case, the entire set of 24 varieties was available for purchase.

The large array of jams attracted more people to the table than the small array, thought in both cases people tasted about the same amount of jams on average.

When it came to buying however, a huge difference became evident.

Thirty percent of the people exposed to the small array of jams actually bought a jar; only 3% of those exposed to the large array of jams did so

For the detailed answer(s) to ‘why is it so’ you should buy the book (and I strongly recommend it, as I said, I reference it *all* the time). For the short answer – people don’t do well with a lot of choice. Be a good designer and help them by guiding them towards good decisions, even if not the perfect one. A decision made can be remade and refined, which is much better than not seeing your customers for dust.

Design In the Open Community for Open Source User Experience Design

Just a very quick post to let you that I recently created a Ning community to allow designers and user experience people who are working in (or interested in working in) Open Source and Free Software communities to share their experiences, their projects, their questions and their mental health breakdowns!

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, come join us here: http://www.designintheopen.org/

[Participate in Research] Are you on the market for a new phone, insurance or breakdown cover?

Are you currently looking at purchasing a new mobile phone, switching your insurance provider or getting breakdown cover for your car?

We’re looking for people who are not so technically savvy who might be available to help us with a small research project in London on 6-7 July. We’re after everyone from students to grandparents, so if this is not you, perhaps it would suit someone you know – feel free to pass this onto them!

You’ll get £40 for an hour of your time, we’ll come and meet you at a location that is mutually convenient (in and around Central London), and it is really very easy – we’re interested in your experience and feedback, that’s all! Actually most people find these sessions pretty fun!