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The Decider
Decision Support System

Figma

The decision-support system, The Decider, is a human-emotional interface intended to help people find their true opinion through supporting rationalization or enhancing intuition.


Since my friends and family members often consult me on their decision-making processes, I had the idea to develop a tool for this specific task. It is generally not easy for us humans to make decisions and there are many decision-support systems (DSS) to facilitate this process already. Interestingly, when I looked around for potential competition for my product idea, I noticed that most apps for this purpose either don’t work well or have a terrible interface. Another issue was that it was difficult to understand how the DSS functioned. As a result, I concluded that the challenge of such a product is to be functional for the user while also being understandable and intuitive.

During my studies in cognitive science I had already dealt with the processes of human decision-making in detail. With this background, I was fortunately able to quickly gain an overview of the complexity of decision-making and break it down into smaller aspects to work with further.


There are two approaches for us humans to make a decision: the rational and the intuitive way. Both have their advantages, disadvantages and factors that influence the process.

rational decision-making

+

  • only if an optimal solution is possible
  • fact driven approach: minimizing biases, enhancing objectiveness

  • not a very human approach
    due to our lack of cognitive capacities and optimization
    (motivation ends as soon as a sense of satisfaction is reached -> no ongoing optimization)
  • time consuming
  • limits of information / knowledge / anticipation
    quantity, quality, accuracy and integrity of information are often missing
  • cause-effect relationships are not clearly discernible

intuitive decision-making

+

  • good for low value decisions
  • speed
  • a certain degree of intuition is required
    (more difficulty in decision making -> less intuition).
  • ability that can be improved through learning

  • inaccurate, insufficient, unreliable and unrelated information is indistinguishable
  • inappropriate application possible (example: overconfidence)
  • short term emotional bias
    (even experts can be influenced by unrelated emotions)
  • bias due to prejudice (example: lack of openess)
  • insufficient consideration of alternatives – limits of information
    (intuition relies on pattern-recognition -> limiting options)
  • heuristics and habits

So how does one choose the right approach for an upcoming decision?
To answer this question, I have compiled some (certainly not all) decisive factors:

Time
How much time can be invested in the decision-making process? More time -> more effective analysis of situation possible. (Risk of overanalyzing -> analysis paralysis.)

Objectives
What is the motivation behind the decision? A decision that deals with the fear of losses is something completely different from a decision about possible gains.

Uncertainties
Always play a role. The question is which.

Value
Importance of the decision result. Higher value -> requires more consultative / collaborative approach.

Quality
How to define the optimal solution? Is a satisfactory outcome sufficient, or is maximization/optimization of the solution required? (Risk of moderate solution bias, criterions for quality could be: level of action, social harmony, self-actualization.)

Commitment to implementation
Are the options of the decision realistically implementable? -> Many decisions fail at this point because the acceptance / commitment is too low.

Relationship impact
If the decision is embedded in a social context -> decision-making approach should include social factors.

Complexity
Are the options imaginable without additional help? Is the decision comprehensible?

Biases
Both deicision-making approaches contain sources of bias -> How to deploy bias filter?


With my theoretical findings in mind, I began to design a process for my app that incorporates both rational and intuitive decision-making approaches, as well as methods for filtering biases.

The procedure is split up into three sections:

1. Identifying the problem
2. Getting into the decisive mood
3. Reevaluation of the decision

Then I started designing the wireframe in my sketchbook and moved on to Figma once my visual concept was clear.


Ultimate Battle Dice
Computergame

Photoshop, Blender, Unity

Sprites, UX and UI for a game that my friend developer Superschnitzel and I are working on.

alien enemy
12/2022 Blender

human enemy
03/2023 Blender