Some of my notes from this podcast interview of Barry Schwartz.

In the interview he talked about quite a few important points. Some of them that stood out to me are highlighted in bold.


1.52: Selecting an outfit used to be 40 second task - it turned into a 1 hr deal.

2:00: Why should it be that I do better yet feel worse.

2:55: Free market gives choice - but is that much choice good? - I had to rethink.

4:40: More jams, more interest, but less sales.

6:05: Rates of conversion is important.

07:46: More interested in the kind of pictures. E.g. the guy going to costa rica wanted a camera that would take great pictures outdoors and would have a long battery life and huge storage space. His criteria were not satisfied by the website.

8:50: Web design was done thinking that there is a 20 second race to grab people's attention.

9:50: We have a rough idea of what we want. We expect that the world will help us make our choice.

10:20: Finally gave up and asked my friend about his digital camera.

11:00: People try to look up the model suggested by their friends.

12:00: Now the task is to filter information to people.

12:25: Personalized filters. Suggestions. Like amazon.

14:00: If you know what you want, then a store with 2 million books is a blessing. If you however dont know what you want, seeing 2 million books is a disaster.

16:50: People dont know whats good for them.

17:10: Usability is more important than capability.

17:50: When people gravitated to the item with multiple features, they later rated those with a lesser usability. Prior perception of usability was higher than post perception.

18:20: Simplicity.

19:25: 50 percent of returns to the stores is because people are not able to operate the devices.

20:13: For apps, keep the defaults as what 99:7 percent of people use.

21:00: Flexibility should not interfere with the smooth operation of the simpler interface.

22:10: What happens after the decision is made?

23:00: If people have a hard time choosing a product, its going impact their experience with the product.

25:00: You can make it so hard for people to choose that they may blame the product itself.

26:10: Guided selling. Attempt to figure out what questions to ask and then guide people to those choices. Its a hard problem, because if you ask the wrong questions you may lose people.

27:00: There is no way for designing questions for everyone.

27:20: People put off presentation of the product till tomorrow. But tomorrow is no different from today.

30:00: Netflix's feature of differentiating the recommendations of everyone else from the recommendations from friends.

33:00: Ironically 18 year old students with almost no experience have multiple subject choices, but experienced people in management courses have lesser choices.