anchor

Anchoring

Word:  Anchor

Definition: An anchor serves as a reference for comparisons.

Thought: Examples make understanding easier so here’s one… When you buy a new phone your anchor point becomes $500. Therefore, when it comes time to buy a case for your new shiny toy, a $35 case doesn’t feel like much in comparison to the anchor point. Now flip that around! If you bought the $35 case first (creating an anchor point), the $500 phone would feel like a lot more money.

What does this have to do with design? By understanding anchoring, designers are able to reset user expectations and assist in the arrangement or presentation of comparable items.

Question: Anchoring is commonly used on e-commerce sites to encourage consumer to purchase more products. I couldn’t help but wonder… where do you draw the ethics line when it comes to your bottom line?