Snippet: Design Is The Difference Between Choice and Decision

on July 13, 2014

Yesterday, I reviewed some of Dieter Rams’ Design philosophies and tried to apply them to existing and potential wearable products. I decided to leave out the following section on the difference between Choice and Decision because it didn’t quite fit into the article’s theme. I share it with you now.

Choice vs. Decision

There’s a difference between choice and decision. Choice is an option. Decision is a burden.

Great design elegantly reduces cognitive load. ~ rands (@rands)

Not making one-time decisions at the design level forces the customer to make those decisions over and over again at the user level. This is a constant cognitive strain. Microsoft is infamous for this. When faced with a design decision, they abdicate their responsibility and throw the burden onto the end user. When faced with a design choice, they choose not to choose and do “both.” ((A desktop with a mouse AND a touchscreen. A touch tablet AND a keyboard. A touch tablet AND a pen. An touch input AND a mouse/pen input. A tablet operating system AND a desktop operating system. And, of course, every port known to man. Well…, almost (full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, and microSD™ card reader on Surface 3).))

Good design is more decisions by the designer. Good decisions by the designer means less decisions by the user.

Design is making decisions, so users won’t have to.

which way to go