Decision Fatigue & How to Reduce it Through Web Design-Feature.jpg

Decision Fatigue & How to Reduce it Through Web Design

Decision fatigue is what happens when there are too many choices.

Life is all about making decisions. From the time the alarm starts going off in the morning, and you either decide to face the day or press the snooze button, you’re making decision after decision, and it never seems to stop.

Most of us have been told that choice is good, and most people believe that the more options they have, the better. However, having too many choices doesn’t necessarily translate into having better choices, and all of those options can leave us feeling exhausted and paralyzed about which choice to make. This is called decision fatigue.

What harm could offering an overabundance of choices do to the success of your business? After all, it's good to have options, right?

Turns out, decision fatigue can be a killer when it comes to your conversion rate. The reason for this lies in the Hick-Hyman law, which says that the more choices you present someone with, the longer it will take for them to make a decision.

Having too many options can also make it difficult for your customers to find the best option for their needs, particularly if a lot of the options you’re offering are very similar.

This can lead to a high rate of returns or exchanges, as well as a lot of dissatisfied customers.

Defeating decision fatigue starts with the design of your website.

Decision fatigue isn’t just about having too many options; it’s also about how those options are laid out. And, it’s for this reason that one of the most effective ways to actually defeat decision fatigue isn’t to cut down on the options you’re offering.

The answer actually lies in the design of your website.

Here are a few things you can do to reduce decision fatigue on your website and increase your conversion rate:

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Clean up your navigation.

In order to reduce decision fatigue, the navigation of your website needs to be clear and easy to use. This means that, before you start determining what will be on the main navigation of your website, you need to figure out what the main focus of your website will be.

For example, let’s say that you sell supplements online. The main purpose of your website is to sell supplements, which means that the main navigation of your website needs to be centered around the shopping experience.

This is not the place to talk about company news or invite people to apply for a job. It’s also not the place to talk about your team or the founding of your ecommerce store.

Instead, every part of your main navigation should be geared toward connecting shoppers with the products they’re looking for.

Narrow your focus to a single promotion

When you want to turn a web visitor into a shopper, one of the most effective ways to do that is by offering a special promotion or discount (for a limited time only).

However, when it comes to promotions, less is sometimes more, and chances are high that you’ll find out that focusing on one promotion gets you better results than offering too many.

A website that’s designed for conversions funnels visitors to where they need to go, but it's a mistake to divide a visitor’s time between multiple promotions at the same time. It can be incredibly frustrating and lead to a visitor immediately bouncing off of your website.

Narrowing your focus to just one promotion also helps to eliminate the possibility that you could be offering a promotion that conflicts with another promotion you might be running. This can lead to an awkward encounter for you and a negative experience for the customer.

Pick a single CTA

A common mistake we see in web design is the need to fit a ton of CTAs (calls to action) on a single page. This usually isn’t a problem when it comes to landing pages or product pages, but it’s something that’s common on home pages.

When you’re inviting your visitors to call you for a free quote, to shop your online store, to sign up to start getting newsletters, to follow you on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube or Pinterest, and to check out your Google reviews, it can quickly lead to confusion (and to a higher bounce rate for your website).

Even if you aim to accomplish more than one thing with your website, it’s critical that you focus on one CTA at a time. This will make it clear to your visitors exactly what their next step should be and helps to eliminate any decision fatigue they might be having.

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Make results easy to sort through

As I said, reducing decision fatigue on your website isn’t so much about how many options you’re offering, but about how you’ve laid out those options.

One key thing you can do to reduce decision fatigue while still offering your customers plenty of options is to make those options easy to sort through and filter out.

If you have an ecommerce store, it’s imperative that you give your shoppers plenty of ways to sort through your offerings (i.e. by size, by price, by color, by relevancy, etc.)

This is so important because it allows your shoppers to look for options that are within a specific set of criteria, helping them find the right choice for their own unique needs.

Avoid overwhelming users with content

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), there’s almost nothing more powerful than creating original, informative content on your website on a regular basis.

This, of course, means that you’ll have a ton of content to work with before too long. And, while it may be a great thing for SEO, if you’re not careful, all of that content can contribute to decision fatigue.

When you attempt to explain too many different things to your visitors at once, it makes it difficult for them to focus on one thing. And, instead of attempting to process the information and acting on it, the visitor is more likely to turn to one of your competitors to find the answers they’re looking for.

Don’t get me wrong, you want content — and lots of it — but what you don’t want is to overwhelm your visitors with it.

That’s why it’s important to organize and display your content in a way that’s easy for your visitors to find when they need it but won’t bog them down otherwise.

What can we learn from decision fatigue?

Decision fatigue is a very real thing that can do very real damage to your conversion rate. However, all of these tips boil down to one important lesson — you can easily triumph over decision fatigue by narrowing your focus and keeping your website clean and easy to navigate.

Are you ready to build a website that beats decision fatigue and converts? Start building your DIY website with the Websites 360® website builder today!

Originally published 1/28/20