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What is Choice Architecture?

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Choice architecture is the design of choices with the goal of influencing decisions. This includes the design of choice structures, user interfaces and surrounding wordage. In some cases, choice architecture heavily influences the choices that people make. The following are a few common considerations.

Message Framing

The framing of information tends to have a significant impact on choices. Choices may be surrounded with wordage designed to persuade.


Choice structure is the flow of a sequence of choices. This can often be depicted as a decision tree where each choice leads to a branch of choices. Structure may be designed to engage with a fun question up front. For example, a car manufacturer may first ask a customer to select a color. It is common for choice structure to be optimized with techniques such as A/B testing.


User interface design surrounding a set of choices. For example, an interactive 3d visualization of a customized product may decrease shopping cart abandonment.

Call to Action

Commanding a customer to take an action such as "add this" or "buy now."


A nudge is a subtle approach to influencing with positive suggestions and reinforcements. For example, when you ask a customer if they want to add a safety feature to a car you might have a photo of a family in the background designed to trigger protective instincts.


Default choices have a large effect because people tend to stick with defaults.


Choice architecture may have legal implications. For example, defaults may not constitute agreement on the part of a customer. That is to say that laws in many jurisdictions may require that a customer take a non-default action to buy something or agree to something.
Overview: Choice Architecture
The design of choices.
User Interfaces
Commonly Used In
Related Concepts

Choice Architecture

This is the complete list of articles we have written about choice architecture.
A/B Testing
Bait & Switch
Bliss Point
Choice Paradox
Decision Costs
Decision Tree
Default Effect
Flat Pricing
Low Ball
Price Discrimination
À La Carte
More ...
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