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The big move towards anticipatory design, Part I

The Internet has made our lives infinitely more convenient

Decision fatigue

The Internet has made our lives infinitely more convenient, helping us decide what to have for dinner, choose a movie, make important financial decisions–even select a mate. Intermediaries who used to structure our choices have been eliminated, putting us in solid control of our lives.

That said, the abundance of information and choices can be overwhelming. By one estimate, the Internet is the major contributing factor to our having to make about 35,000 decisions a day. This has lead to widespread, well documented “decision fatigue.” …Bottom line–the more decisions we have to make, the poorer our choices become, especially by end-of-day. Unfortunately, small miscalculations over time can cascade into irreversible losses.

Clearly, we could all benefit from help in making the decision making process more efficient, with better outcomes.

Anticipatory design (AD) improves decision making

Designers and software engineers have been aware of this challenge for a long time. They ‘get’ that the ultimate purpose of any interface is to make things simpler but that decision fatigue is sabotaging that goal. Their solution? –Automate, as much as possible, the Internet decision-making process according to one’s individual preferences and objectives by leveraging prior behavioral history, big data and sophisticated logic algorithms.

First generation AD can be seen in how Amazon and Netflix recommend choices based on previous purchases and viewing habits. In addition, AD is at the heart of Internet-based appliances like the Nest Thermostat (The Internet of Things)

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What AD means for your business

As Anticipatory Design revolutionizes the consumer selection process, companies need to adapt. When customers begin to see its many benefits, they will avoid dealing with companies that don’t provide it.
In Part II of this article, I’ll discuss more about how your company can implement AD and how that involves a careful re-evaluation of one’s brand.

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