Everyday UX – The Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice

Today, we had a catered lunch: three trays of sandwiches. On each sandwiches’ wrapped paper, it was kindly marked a “sandwich name” by pen.

When I was about to grab one, I had no clue just by looking at the names, such as “SJ”. Yeah it gave me a name for this sandwich, but did it help at all? No, it didn’t tell me what’s inside, didn’t indicate which ones were turkey, ham, beef, veggie or vegan – no useful info.

My coworkers helped print a 4-page menu from this restaurant, so that we can find out which sandwich was which. However, the items on the menu didn’t match the handwritten sandwich names. Ughhhhh… A perfect example of frustrating user experience.

I believe the restaurant had good original intention of making good sandwiches for people to enjoy, then there were these things that made my eater experience complicated:

  1. There were at least five or six different types of sandwiches with confusing names that paralyzed my decisions on choices.
  2. The menu print out didn’t explain what these sandwiches were.

That really gave me a lesson on user experience: if we want to build a product or a service, we do not only need a great intention, but also make it work for users, easily, and hopefully with delight.

Think about a good overall experience, from beginning to the end. Try the whole experience by yourself. Get feedback.

I ended up going away with a sandwich named “Bad Bastard”, well, cute name for a sandwich, I would say.

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