It boils down to this. Too much choice paralyses decision-making.
When people are too overloaded with information, they can’t process it effectively. Deciding becomes a chore, so they choose not to decide.
For designers, this kind of behaviour isn’t good at all. For our products to be usable, decision making needs to be frictionless. Many teams still hold an idea that ‘the more, the better’ when it comes to navigation, features and content.
The thing is, this attitude weevils it’s way into user interface in a really bad way. For example:
- Adding too many links to a website or app’s navigation.
- Cramming content ‘above the fold’.
- Using carousels and the like to bombard the user with more of what we want them to see… But not necessarily what they need.
- Giving people this much choice increases cognitive load. It bamboozles them.
They’re not sure where they should go, or how they should take action. Just like having too many jams in a supermarket, it results in users deciding against making a choice.
In other words, they leave.