A/B Testing Idea #309 - Limit frustrations by enabling the possibility to leave a field blank, even after it has been selected

Tactic_Limit frustrations by enabling the possibility to leave a field blank, even after it has been selected


It can often happen that a customer might click into an option or function from a drop down list only to realise that they don't want to select anything but find themselves stuck as they are unable to quite the function without making a selection. It is important to always give your site visitors the possibility to escape from any option or function easily. If, for example, in order to undo a sorting filter they have placed on a search, it is necessary to press the back button to come out of the page and then start over again, not many people will bother coming back.

Similarly, if they are unable to get out of a drop-down list without making a selection, then they will most likely quit the process in frustration. However, if they can find an ease and logic in the use of your site, knowing that they can rectify errors or cancel options they do not in fact want, then they will be more likely to feel confident in using your site and to ultimately convert.

Inspired by Nick Kolenda 


  • Zero-Risk Bias (Baron; Gowda & Kunreuther, 1993)
  • Autonomy bias (Deci, 1971; Ryan, 2008)
  • Illusion of Control (Ellen Langer, 1975)

The Research

Zero-Risk Bias

Zero-risk bias explains our tendency to prefer options that have absolutely no risk attached to them, even if they don’t offer as significant rewards and other options may have been more advantageous in the long run.

Autonomy bias

We prefer situations that we have control over.

Illusion of Control
The Illusion of Control is the tendency to believe that we can control (or at least influence) our environment and, in particular, random phenomenons.

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