When designing a website that is dedicated to showcasing products, it is easy to fall victim to the idea that everything needs to be shown at the same time. Some developers only see value in creating a website that is overloaded with imagery and creates ads for their own products. This kind of design, if messed up, overloads the attention of the user and might give them choice anxiety, so that in the end they don’t pick anything and simply leave the provider behind. On the other hand, there are companies that try not to overload the person with information, providing them with the freedom to explore the products at their own pace and find something that is interesting to them. In the case of NewEscape, this is the road they picked and executed relatively well. All you have to do, in order to understand why the design works, is take a look at London escape rooms listed here. There are of course flaws that the design has, quite a large number of them, but the positive is something that we want to talk about.
How NewEscape builds freedom of choice
It is hard to capture the freedom of choice in a website that is trying to promote and list products without coming off either too promotional. Listing a large number of products can be especially tough since the initial desire of the website owner is to showcase all of the products at the same tie. But there are ways to not use too much promotional material or even any at all, and achieve the desired effect despite this. One of the main ways of doing so would be by creating a minimal design, which is what NewEscpae goes for. It might seem a little underwhelming, but the design that the website employs allows users a sense of freedom that cannot be achieved by long lists. Providing images and the choice to either look at all of the listings, or alternatively scroll to a different part of the page in order to find the information they need regarding the products. The freedom of choice is a great way to keep the customer on your page for a long time and give them the time, without imposed urgency, to pick something they like.
How Amazon overmarkets
The opposite is true in the case of Amazon.com. While the online market is known to be one of the most popular in the world and quite successful at what it does, the company has a single design issue that has never been solved. The promotional materials and the endless stream of information that is provided to the user is a little overwhelming. Many ties, the user who is just trying to get their hands on a single product will be bombarded by information about products that they do not want or need. This is a design that limits freedom of choice and encourages people to spend less time on the website if they do not like being railroaded into products. While those who are simply browsing might enjoy the suggestions, many of those who have a specific product they want to buy are only off-put by the constant promotions. These people might be more likely to be roped in if they are given the chance to explore on their own. This choice for design is a little strange, considering how much time Jeff Bezos spends trying to pick the best designs for his everyday life.
The AirBnB experience
In the case of Airbnb.com, it would be hard to not see the amount of freedom they allow to their users. The website strikes the perfect balance between freedom and promotion. While the person who knows what they are looking for will easily be able to go through the process of finding it, without encountering any extra issues on the way. On the other hand, if a person is only there to explore, it is easy to draw them in through all of the imagery of locations, experiences and even just images of individual apartments. Airbnb manages to enhance the experience of any user that is just there to explore where they could end up if they followed the travelling opportunities given by Airbnb.
Designing freedom of choice is a complex process that involves many steps, but if done well, it leads to users spending a long time on the page and exploring it in ways that they would not have done otherwise. Picking the right qualities for your websites, such as minimalism, or beautiful imagery, and striking a balance between promotion and not a promotion is key to capturing the sense of freedom.