Today’s guest blog post is written by Mary Alice Dutkanicz, Data Migration Manager, PatronManager.
I was recently introduced to the term “Choice Architecture” through a segment on NPR’s TED Radio Hour. You may already be familiar with the concept: how, by human nature, we’re most often drawn to make decisions based on the way that our options are presented to us.
Most books and articles you’ll find on the topic focus on the more nuanced methods of manipulating consumer purchasing decisions, through framing options in a positive or negative light (“90% lean” vs. “10% fat”) or offering decoy comparisons to make one option seem more appealing than another. Step into any grocery store across the country, and you’ll see a large-scale example of how choice architecture affects consumer habits, from product placement to a bright neon “SALE!” sticker.
You could say that the core of this whole deal is really just catering to (or taking advantage of) lazy decision-making, but a responsible application of choice architecture can actually be used to boost productivity in your own life and work in a practical way. Have you ever had one of those days where you’re so mentally exhausted, you can’t decide what to make for dinner? After a long day of critical thinking, you might be suffering from decision fatigue. Think about the number of decisions you’ve made so far today; each choice has required a certain degree of cognitive energy. Why not conserve some of that energy by implementing a bit of your own choice architecture to streamline the smaller, inconsequential decisions of your day?Read the Article