We all have our limits. When it comes to making choices, we can reach them surprisingly quickly.

Each of us makes countless decisions every day, often subconsciously. Online, the choices facing us are innumerable: which sites to visit, which buttons to click, which pages to read, which forms to submit. Every single site we browse demands we make decisions – and often many of them.

This can result very quickly in what designers call ‘decision fatigue’. Simply put, this is the feeling in a user that they are having to make too many choices to justify the benefit they are deriving from engaging with a site. Once decision fatigue sets in, they are likely simply to move on.

In other words, decision fatigue affects conversion rates. It increases your ‘bounce rate’ – the number of people leaving your site too quickly – and it results in users disengaging from your onboarding process before it’s complete. This means that you don’t get their contact details, or don’t make a sale.

The good news is that there are choices you can make to reduce the likelihood that your site will cause decision fatigue in its users. There are a set of pretty easy design techniques available that make sites much easier to use – and ensures that far few active decisions are required on the part of those who visit it.

  1. Declutter The Navigation Menu. Decision fatigue occurs when your consumer is put in the position of choosing from an abundance of options. Aim for your visitors to quickly explore your site, find exactly what they need, and convert. When it comes to a website, a cluttered navigation menu can harm your conversion rates. Make finding content on your site simple.
  1. Reduce Your Promotions. Offers and promotions are excellent for enticing new customers and returning customers. However, too many can distract your converting customers. Including one or two promotions on a page is ideal so that you hold the customer’s attention. Any more and your users can begin to feel confused – even lost.
  1. Prioritise Content. One of the essential parts of a website is content marketing. If you offer up too much content at the same time, then customers won’t take the time to digest your information. Content should be prioritised, with the most recent or more important first or the most important information first. Use design to order your content, so that it is clear to users what they need to read.
  1. Include Filters and Sort Functionality. On websites with many pages or products, it’s important to offer a filter or sort feature, so that users can quickly search for what they need. Having to wade through a long list of items makes a site not just inconvenient but often unusable for users. You’ll achieve higher conversion rates if your customers can find what they want straight away.

In other words, reducing decision fatigue is about enhancing and streamlining content delivery. Make information and products easier and quicker to find – and the means of doing so as intuitive as possible. That will reduce the choices your users have to make – and increase the likelihood that the choices they do make will be positive for you.

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