The average American reportedly makes 70 different choices
a day, so it's understandable that decisions, both big and small, can paralyze consumers with a crushing feeling of option overload. Catering to this indecision epidemic are several new tools that aim to alleviate choice anxiety
by gathering advice
from like-minded contacts and emphasizing the opinion of the majority.
: iPhone app Seesaw
generates formatted polls that empower users to make smarter decisions. Particularly useful when overcome with purchase paralysis, people can snap photos of each option, then share the pictures with friends via text message, Twitter or Facebook. Votes and comments are instantly displayed, allowing questioners to add feedback
about their pressing dilemmas immediately. Unlike services that survey strangers, the Seesaw network is built from each individual’s personal and/or social media contacts, so all opinions come from trusted sources. Afterwards, the results are saved in a searchable timeline-like layout for quick future reference.
: It’s not uncommon to see informal polls conducted on Instagram. Design firm Doejo
app combines such photo sharing
with a crowdsourced advice tool in a way that promises to relieve those plagued by indecision. Users first post questions on the platform (“Which haircut should I get?” or “What should I wear to my job interview?”), then upload 2-3 accompanying photos or videos. Through Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, text messaging and email, individuals can send their questions to friends directly, or can anonymously tap into the Vicelight community for more impartial advice. The response stats instantly appear within the app as votes roll in.
: Sentio Search
is a website that encourages more strategic decision making by converting other people’s hindsight into foresight. Visitors first take a personality test to identify “surrogates,” or similar individuals, after which they can pose questions to them, like “Should I buy a new car
?” Those surrogates who experienced the exact same scenario then share what choice they made and whether or not they are happy with it. Sentio Search analyzes all respondents’ insights and presents the inquirer with a clear summary, such as “63% of people like me chose to buy a new car, and in general were satisfied with the decision.”