Eliminating Choice

I recently read the book ‘The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less‘ by American psychologist Barry Schwartz. In the book, Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers. The same anxiety happens to designers when faced with a blank canvas.

So many choices. What color, layout, scale or order will I tell my story? Which stroke will you make first? Once you make the first line, you are committing to a path of uncertain outcome. You have to follow and trust your instincts, but the endless choice clouds our judgment.

In software, there is the term of Minium Viable Product (MVP). Identifying the core function of a project, removing superfluous features until you arrive at the primary problem you are solving. The MVP for a hot dog stand is Hotdogs. You can strip away the elaborate toppings, condiments, and buns, but absolutely must have Frankfurters to be a hotdog stand. When faced with unlimited choice ask yourself what is the primary problem I’m solving? It should be a simple answer, and it’s the ONE thing you need to get right.

“Choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.”
– Barry Schwartz

Sources / Credits:
Book The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz