Choice architects

As a UX designer you are a choice architect.

A choice architect has the responsibility for organizing the context in which people make decisions.”- Richard H. Thaler, Nudge

It’s a much more empowering way of thinking about UX and the skills required to be good at it.

Being a choice architect and not just a designer, points out the responsibility you have towards influencing people’s behavior.

And the concept can not only be used in product design, but also in life.

A choice architect is “libertarian paternalist”.

  • Libertarian because people should be free to make their own decisions and to opt out if needed.
  • Paternalist because you care about making others’ lives longer, healthier and overall better.

If I’ll ever have kids this is a great approach to parenthood too.

Imagine purposefully “designing” your kid’s life in a way that allows them to make choices, and adopt habits that are in their best interest, but at the same time allowing them the freedom to completely deviate from that path if they choose to do so.

It’s something we should all be thinking more about as designers, especially nowadays when users are realizing they can have more power than they thought.

Let’s give it to them.