A World of Choice

I remember as a child flying back and forth between Los Angeles and Manila.  It was, and still is, a long flight, some 17 hours if you take the long way through Tokyo.  Back then, the only entertainment was a book, a Game Boy (remember those?) and, if you were lucky, a good movie.  I spent most of my long distance flights asleep or walking around, a habit I maintain to this day.

Today, we live in a world of choice. We carry gadgets that we customize with apps and features.  We program our DVRs for the exact shows we want.  We curate our RSS readers and Twitter feeds and download only the songs we want.  Even our language options are becoming more and more numerous.  If you don’t speak English, try Français or Deutsch or 日本语 or Español.  Don’t speak any of those?  Don’t worry: you’ll have more options soon.

In a world of choice, are we limiting the media we consume, the views we hear, the lifestyles we encounter?  What does it mean to design for a world where your audience could be anyone, and the alternatives are nearly infinite? 

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