Every set of choices is framed in a context that has an impact on the chooser. This environment, known as the “choice architecture,” may implicitly lead your constituents toward one choice over another. Introducing a nudge will modify the choice architecture, replacing pre-existing nudges.
Below are several types of nudges that may impact choice selection. Each is an opportunity to create your own nudge experiment!
Default Rules – Provide a set of choices with one “good” choice automatically selected. This will require less work for indifferent choosers, and fewer people will fail to make a choice altogether. When using default rules, it should still be easy to opt-out, or opt for a different choice.
Active Choice – Provide a set of choices and require people to choose one before proceeding. This may be useful when a default choice is not optimal for most users.
Simplification – Reduce the complexity of choices to increase the likelihood of an informed and rational decision. This could come in the form of a more succinct description of the question, more clearly labeled options, or fewer options to choose from.
Increase Ease – Remove barriers or reduce the perceived consequences of making a choice. This could come in the form of reduced cost, reduced risk, closer proximity, or shorter commitment.
Disclosure of Costs – Provide information on the monetary, social, or environmental costs associated with each choice. This may act as a deterrent for some choices where costs are not obvious. Choosers tend to bias decisions based on the information most recently available or easiest to recall.
Disclosure of Past Choices – When possible, use personalization to remind the chooser of their prior selection(s). This is another way to simplify the choice selection.
Use of Social Norms – Provide information about the behavior or opinions of others. Try noting the most frequently selected choice, the most highly recommended choice, or information from larger demographic surveys.