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The case for data presentation and Hipmunk

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Like most people, I am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff at our fingertips today. With just the click of the mouse, we have more choices of products, greater access to news and more data than ever before. There are so many statistics on the proliferation of data as the Web grows, one does not know what statistic to believe, but it is certainly growing exponentially. However, this deluge of information does not always make choice easier. As marketers, we should all bear in mind Barry Schwartz's book, The Paradox of Choice. While Schwartz outlines the dangers and leads the marketing reader down the obvious path of “less is more,” I would like to post about another route.

Reader note: I have no affiliation with the following product endorsement. I do not own any of the company or even know anyone who does.

In the mid-1990s I fell in love with Expedia. It was a great way to check on corporate travel and ensure that I was on the most appropriate flights. The user interface was simple got easier over time as technology and design improved. Well, I have bad news…I have strayed in my relationship with Expedia.

I am now madly in love with Hipmunk. The quirky site and user interface is fun--who else would allow a user to sort by “agony”? And, while that might be enough to get me to try the site, it would not have been enough to tear me away from Expedia. It is the way that Hipmunk presents data in an endless sea of choices that has brought me to the altar with the product. Hipmunk has clearly thought about the user experience and the way that the websites presents data. Hipmunk has simplified the multitude of choices that we have and presents the data in a way that truly turns it into information. This is the other, often overlooked solution to the paradox of choice.

The lessons for marketers? Sometimes less is not more. As Hipmunk shows, sometimes smarter, user-focused, presentation of data is more. I encourage readers of this post to check out the site (www.hipmunk.com) and let me know if you agree and, even better, post your thoughts on other sites that redefine the presentation of data.

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