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360|iDev 2015

Sessions recorded at the annual 360|iDev conference.

Daniel Haight - Decision Fatigue

Decision Fatigue is the name given to the effect in which the quality of your decision making deteriorates with the number of decisions you have to make.

What is interesting is that many studies have shown that the difficulty of the decisions actually have little effect on the rate of the deterioration, more so the quantity. This is to say that having to make a lot of ‘small’ or ‘easy’ decisions can seriously harm the quality of the ‘bigger’ decisions you make.

Have you ever had to repeatedly decide how you might implement an API design? How you’d implement a network layer? K&R braces? tabs or spaces? withCompletionBlock: or just completionBlock:? Each of these decisions especially when made over and over can take away from the much more important decisions along the lines of “What is the ultimate goal of what we’re building?” or “Why are we implementing this?”

In the talk we’ll:

Take a quick look at the psychology behind the phenomenon and some of the studies around it and their conclusions.
Then look into how we can practically avoid decision fatigue when we’re building software and products.
Finally look a little bit into how we can do this in Real Life too! (Oh we’ll also find out once and for all what the default value of a BOOL should be 😸)
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits, I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” – Barack Obama



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