The missing reference (was Simplicity is Not Understood )

18 Jan 2007 - 7:12pm
7 years ago
1 reply
291 reads
Lorne Trudeau
2006

I don't know if this is the study you were thinking of, but Luke W.
mentions a similar study in his post, The Sweet Spot for Buying
(http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?433). He references a study referred
to by Barry Schwartz (yes, that's at least two degrees of separation).

Cheers,
Lorne

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
John Schrag
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2007 12:46 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Simplicity is Not Understood

Anyway, last year I was reading about a study of consumer purchasing
habits. In this study, participants were divided into 2 groups. In one
group, participants were shown a set of competing tech products, and
asked to choose among them in a store-like situation. (That is, they
could read the feature list on the box, but not try out the product.)
The other participants were given the items to take home and use for 24
hours, after which they would make the choice of which one they wanted.

The group that only had a superficial look at the items overwhelmingly
chose the one with the most features. But the groups that had a chance
to try them out overwhelmingly chose the easiest-to-use item, eschewing
lots of features in the process.

This is a fairly critical thing for a designer to know --- whether
people will get to try what you design before or after their purchase
decision.

If I come across the source, I'll send it along. If someone else out
there knows the study I'm referring to, I'd appreciate being reminded.

-john

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Comments

19 Jan 2007 - 2:48pm
John Schrag
2005

Lorne wrote:
> I don't know if this is the study you were thinking of, but
> Luke W. mentions a similar study in his post, The Sweet Spot
> for Buying (http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?433). He references
> a study referred to by Barry Schwartz (yes, that's at least two
> degrees of separation).

That's the one! My colleague showed me the section in Schwartz's book
"The Paradox of Choice". I'll ask her to look up the source ref in that
book (we don't have it here at the office.)

-john

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