We all make a dizzying number of choices every day — from deciding which toothpaste to buy to which Facebook posts to click on. Choice is great because it means freedom, but too much choice leads to decision paralysis.
If this posit rings true, then let’s talk about your website.
I know that you have a lot of things you want your site visitors to do. You want them to follow you on Facebook, sign up for your newsletter, learn about your company’s history, view your portfolio, join your group, try your demo, contact you, buy now…
But your site visitors don’t have all day to meander around your website taking every action and exploring every nook and cranny reading every word. Assume you’ve got about a minute (if you’re lucky) to persuade that site visitor to take the action you want them to.
Less choice helps your site visitors take the right action
What is the goal of your web page? I mean, what’s the main goal? What action do you most want your visitor to take? In the following example, each website owner wants the user to try the demo. Which one do you think is more effective?
This is an oversimplification, and there’s a place for choice. But users want to know, “What do I do next?” When you ask them to do too many things, it becomes less clear what that is.
Can you eliminate any distractions? Can you narrow down the possible choices for the user? Can you better use visual design to set a clear hierarchy? If you have multiple goals for your website, can you break them down into per-page goals rather than putting all your calls to action on one or every page?
Users can’t and won’t do everything, so keep your focus on the most important things you want them to do.
If you’re interested in learning more about the psychology behind all of this, watch this fascinating TED talk about the paradox of choice.