Anticipatory Design Trend & The Paradox of Choice

In 2004, psychologist Barry Schwartz wrote The Paradox of Choicea compelling manifesto that outlined the paralysis and dissatisfaction one feels when presented with too many choices. A decade later, Aaron Shapiro, the CEO of the global digital design agency Huge, has evolved Schwartz’s observations into a provocative scenario he calls “anticipatory design.”


In Shapiro’s vision, not only are there a limited number of choices, but there are none. With 12 offices worldwide from Brooklyn to Bogota, Shapiro oversees one of the most influential creative agencies in the world, providing branding, integrated marketing, and digital strategy services for multinational clients such as Nike, Lexus, Google, Pepsi, and Pfizer.


“Choice is overrated,” he opined. In his treatise about the agency’s newly-defined design approach, he wrote:


The next big breakthrough in design and technology will be the creation of products, services, and experiences that eliminate the needless choices from our lives and make ones on our behalf, freeing us up for the ones we really care about: Anticipatory design.