Paradox of Web Choice

A new book called The Paradox of Choice (excerpt here) has made it onto my Amazon wishlist. It chronicles the recent abundance of choices available in nearly every product category. One argument is that, with so many choices, the chance of making the wrong one, or one we regret, is increased.

The comparison to web design is related to the debate about the value of various web page elements. Just as the experience is lessened by diluting it to fit all visitors, designing elements that try to show every possible option on each page lessens the value of each one.

Mark Hurst said “i don’t want 3,000 results, i want ONE. MINE.” In the same way, most users don’t want 3,000 options–just the right one NEXT.