I’m a self described life long learner. It’s simply that I’m just too curious to not always be learning.
Since November, inspired by thoughts that stemmed from these posts, I’ve been interested in choice, and, more specifically, how it relates to product design and development.
Reading Nate’s experiences with jean shopping reminded me of a book I read in December that’s worth a read if you’re into product design and development.
Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choiceis an excellent book highlighting the issues and concerns, from a pyschological stand-point, that too much choice creates in our lives.
The book starts with a funny anecdotal story of Schwartz’s recent experience purchasing jeans. The last time he purchased jeans there was a single cut, a single colour and the single decision was to find the right size. This time, Scwartz was bombarded with options (multiple cuts, different colours, different zippers, …) and found that the experience was less pleasant than before.
Schwartz explores how the common belief that more options makes us happier may not only be false, but may actually erode our psychological well-being, introducing previously unpresent stress and anxiety.
What does this have to do with product design and development? Lots.
Obviously, people are fairly passionate about choice as it relates to product development.
Being an easy and light read I found The Paradox of Choiceworth the effort required to digest it. I found it interesting and enjoyed it enough to give it to my Dad and brother for Christmas, which speaks to the quality of the content. If you’re interested in choice as it relates to product design I highly recommend that you check out the book.