Ranking of choice options influences decisions

When people are presented with a list of any kind, the order used to present the options will influence their choice. It might seem obvious but not many choice architects are checking this point systematically.

This tendency can be used to shape a user’s choice, so it’s the basis for simple nudges to shift people’s choices. This tendency also needs to be taken into account whenever users are presented with items in a list, since we know the order will change their choices. If that is the case in a customer touchpoint and you want theme to pay equal attention to each item, as may be the case when customers are asked to select funds for their savings account, then specific features must be put in place in terms of choice orchestration to ensure they do pay equal attention to each option, since this won’t be natural for them.

For an example, see this natural experiment: Order of appearance of research articles influences clicks, downloads, cites