I just watched an excellent lecture at the googleplex by professor
Studies from the past 50 years have shown us that more selection and variety of features equals a better product. However, those studies failed to observe actual behavior in comparing a large selection from a refined selection.
This reinforces my belief that there is usually a difference in what people say and what they actually do…which is why its more important to observe behavior rather than opinion.
A study was performed in a super market in the UK a couple years back. On one day they set up a table and gave a selection of 20 jams for people to sample, each of those people got a $1 off coupon to use on any jam they wanted. The next day they only offered 6 jams, with a $1 off coupon.
While many more people were attracted to and sampled the 20 jam table…1/10 AS MANY PEOPLE BOUGHT JAM!
What does this tell us? More choice = fewer decisions. The more choice available, the more likely people will choose nothing. That’s a pretty powerful finding if you ask me. There are several other studies Schwarts references with similar outcomes.
I think that Barry Schwarts has some excellent points…and watching the video just may change the way you think about building products.