How To Help Users Make Better Decisions

Today, numerous applications make assumptions about preferences of their users based on their personal information. For instance, eBay recommends products to their customers and displays what they think these people will like. Facebook also tailors news feed, showing the most “relevant” news. In these cases, user choice appears to be removed. But do not think of it as of something that threatens your freedom of choice. Such anticipatory type of design automates the process of decision-making by leveraging data on user behavior. This form of interaction design improves user decisions, reduces decision fatigue as well as the overall number of decisions users make. In this posting, we are going to take a look at how to help customers make better decisions from a web and mobile design perspective.

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Deciding For Customers

Sounds somewhat weird, huh? However, reducing the amount of choice in UI makes the UX better. This also helps reduce users’ frustration, and improve their ability to make decisions. Undoubtedly, more choice is always welcome. At the same time, too much choice creates a daunting experience for users, making their decision-making difficult. Moreover, they become less likely to choose anything at all. It is our job to make UI/ UX design not too overwhelming for users. From this perspective, anticipatory design is seen as one of the best solutions from a usability perspective.

Building Trust In Interaction Design

When you make decisions for your customers and reduce their choices, you might be accused of being presumptuous about what they desire. Indeed, this may trick people into doing things they really do not want to do, causing distrust from their part. Therefore, the more decisions an applications make for people, the more transparent they should be. Here are some suggestions on how to do that:

  • Let people opt-out

Let’s face it, some users do not want applications to decide for them. In such cases, they should be given the ability to opt-out easily.

  • Use previous user input

It is crucial to make the process of making assumptions about people as accurate as possible. From this perspective, we’d recommend to make use of user input. Bonus: in this case, your recommendations will be less likely to appear as disguised ads.

  • Avoid advertisements as content

This is a common practice in mobile UX and UI design that usually takes place when actions are performed without the user’s consent. For instance, Google Maps disguises advertisements as pins on a map.

  • Give users more control

One of the obvious ways to avoid limiting information is to provide feedback mechanisms. This will make it easy for people to change the assumptions that were already made about them. You can do it either by adding a dropdown caret to each item or by using feedback mechanisms used by Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

  • Avoid a bunch of information

Many people might not feel happy about it as they do not want companies to choose what they see. For example, no one is happy with these recent changes in the Facebook algorithm that started to reinforce user preconceptions (showing more funny videos to users who watch a lot of funny videos, etc.). Furthermore, this makes discovery of new things on a website too complex and tricky.

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Make Use of Dark Patterns

The best apps design is impossible without using dark patterns. They help companies decide on behalf of people. At the same time, similar approaches can be used to help users improve their decision-making process. They include the following:
1. Building positive behavioral patterns
Anticipatory applications are capable of encouraging different behavioral patterns in users. As a result, they become conditioned by application notifications being advised what to purchase, when to purchase, and where to go next. However, the same methods could be used to help individuals form positive habits and behaviors. Think of all these habit-forming and self-improvement applications that have become highly popular today.
2. Enrolling people
Although this tactic forces individuals to make quick decisions, it simplifies this process to a simple binary choice, encouraging them to participate. For example, encouraging people to make long-term decisions such as pension plans.
3. Nudging users to the right choice
Interaction design provides the ability to create a “choice architecture,” suggesting users to pick the best option. For example, it may promote healthy living (quit smoking, alcohol drinking, etc.).

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Key Takeaways

Undoubtedly, when it comes to creating web UX and UI design, staying transparent and giving people control are crucial to maintain trust. All the benefits users get from decisions made for them by an app are predetermined by the ethics of the business behind it. At Loonar Studios, we understand the importance of delicacy when building the best apps design projects. And we never use our customers’ data for our own purposes. So do not hesitate to contact us! We are committed to being the best so that our clients can also be the best!