optimal range of choices to offer?

26 Feb 2007 - 6:56pm
7 years ago
2 replies
305 reads
Klein Info Design
2007

Hi

Related to the “no arbitrary rules for clicks” discussion, I’m interested in
recommendations for the optimal number of choices to offer users in a wizard
or web app. At what point do we stop being helpful and start overwhelming
their ability to choose?

For example, to guide users to a solution for “How can I reduce global
climate change?”

First level choices:

Make different transportation choices

Change your buying habits

Modify your home

Influence your government

Choice 5

Choice 6

Choice 7

Choice 8

Second level for user who picked transportation choices in #1:

Use Transit

Ride a Bike

Walk

Plan errands to minimize the number of trips

Choice 5

Choice 6

Choice 7

Choice 8

Any ideal # of choices to offer? Is there an ideal # of words per choice?
Thanks! - Kathleen

Kathleen Klein

Klein Info Design LLC

HYPERLINK "http://www.kleininfodesign.com"www.kleininfodesign.com

206-781-2615

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2:56 PM

Comments

26 Feb 2007 - 9:33pm
Ari
2006

how are these choice being displayed? via a drop down menu of some sort?

there's something called hick's law that mathematically proves in some
instances that it takes less time to make selections from a single menu of n
options than multiple menus of n choices.

On 2/26/07, Klein Info Design <info at kleininfodesign.com> wrote:
>
> Hi
>
> Related to the "no arbitrary rules for clicks" discussion, I'm interested
> in
> recommendations for the optimal number of choices to offer users in a
> wizard
> or web app. At what point do we stop being helpful and start overwhelming
> their ability to choose?
>
>
>
> For example, to guide users to a solution for "How can I reduce global
> climate change?"
>
>
>
> First level choices:
>
> Make different transportation choices
>
> Change your buying habits
>
> Modify your home
>
> Influence your government
>
> Choice 5
>
> Choice 6
>
> Choice 7
>
> Choice 8
>
>
>
> Second level for user who picked transportation choices in #1:
>
> Use Transit
>
> Ride a Bike
>
> Walk
>
> Plan errands to minimize the number of trips
>
> Choice 5
>
> Choice 6
>
> Choice 7
>
> Choice 8
>
>
>
> Any ideal # of choices to offer? Is there an ideal # of words per choice?
> Thanks! - Kathleen
>
>
>
>
>
> Kathleen Klein
>
> Klein Info Design LLC
>
> HYPERLINK "http://www.kleininfodesign.com"www.kleininfodesign.com
>
> 206-781-2615
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.4/703 - Release Date: 2/26/2007
> 2:56 PM
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
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http://www.flyingyogi.com

27 Feb 2007 - 3:23am
Ivo Domburg
2007

It depends on the task. For instance: if a user has to perform a task
every day by going through a series of short menus it will soon get
pretty annoying. For regular tasks menus can contain a lot of items,
because the user will soon know his way within the menu. When a
single menu gets larger visually grouping items in several categories
will help users to read the menu.

For tasks that are performed only once a step-by-step approach using
choices between only a few (2-5) options will be better. It might not
be faster than a single choice menu, but the user experiences more
control on the process.

Gr. Ivo

On 27-feb-2007, at 3:33, Ari Feldman wrote:

> how are these choice being displayed? via a drop down menu of some
> sort?
>
> there's something called hick's law that mathematically proves in some
> instances that it takes less time to make selections from a single
> menu of n
> options than multiple menus of n choices.
>
>
>
> On 2/26/07, Klein Info Design <info at kleininfodesign.com> wrote:
>>
>> Hi
>>
>> Related to the "no arbitrary rules for clicks" discussion, I'm
>> interested
>> in
>> recommendations for the optimal number of choices to offer users in a
>> wizard
>> or web app. At what point do we stop being helpful and start
>> overwhelming
>> their ability to choose?
>>
>>
>>
>> For example, to guide users to a solution for "How can I reduce
>> global
>> climate change?"
>>
>>
>>
>> First level choices:
>>
>> Make different transportation choices
>>
>> Change your buying habits
>>
>> Modify your home
>>
>> Influence your government
>>
>> Choice 5
>>
>> Choice 6
>>
>> Choice 7
>>
>> Choice 8
>>
>>
>>
>> Second level for user who picked transportation choices in #1:
>>
>> Use Transit
>>
>> Ride a Bike
>>
>> Walk
>>
>> Plan errands to minimize the number of trips
>>
>> Choice 5
>>
>> Choice 6
>>
>> Choice 7
>>
>> Choice 8
>>
>>
>>
>> Any ideal # of choices to offer? Is there an ideal # of words per
>> choice?
>> Thanks! - Kathleen
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Kathleen Klein
>>
>> Klein Info Design LLC
>>
>> HYPERLINK "http://www.kleininfodesign.com"www.kleininfodesign.com
>>
>> 206-781-2615
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> No virus found in this outgoing message.
>> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>> Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.4/703 - Release Date:
>> 2/26/2007
>> 2:56 PM
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>
>
>
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> http://www.flyingyogi.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

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