So… confirmation bias. What is it?
The tendency to seek out information or interpret information in a way that supports our own views and opinions is known as confirmation bias. Being a human, this propensity is normal, and it is extremely typical to focus on information that supports our beliefs and disregard or reject information that does not, even when it is true or founded in facts, support our beliefs.
Our lives may be affected by confirmation bias in several ways. By processing information in an irrational and biased manner, it can influence our job and cause us to lose excellent relationships with others around us.
However, by following some of the strategies described in the sections below, we can regulate and control this physiological deficit.
How Does UX Design Affect Confirmation Bias?
The most important and first phase in the UX design process is user research. The UX designers identify users in this step, meet with them, and learn about their pain areas so that they can take those into account when developing the product for them.
User research and UX design may be risky because of confirmation bias. It can quickly result in bad choices based on erroneous presumptions and individual preferences, which will affect the entire line of goods and the company as a whole.
When conducting user research, asking users the wrong questions will provide biased results. Similar to this, if you employ biassed questions when conducting user testing, individuals may accidentally validate your ideas and viewpoints rather than offering their own.
Since judgments are made based on your own assumptions, confirmation bias might result in a product that does not accurately reflect the demands of the users in this way.
Confirmation Bias effect on User Testing
One of the most important aspects of experience design is user testing. If you don’t truly link the user with a solution to their problem, designing lovely stuff is ineffective. So when you review the outcomes of your user testing, it is crucial to understand confirmation bias.
You didn’t realize that some of the questions actually had a detrimental impact on people with lower incomes because of the topic you chose for the test. It caused the data in your reports to be distorted.
You then deliver these reports to your clients, who have confidence in you as a skilled UX designer. Based on distorted information, the product is massively overpriced when it hits the market. The cost of the revamp has also incensed the client.
You can see how vital it is to take confirmation bias into account during the design process.
How to spot Confirmation Bias?
We constantly encounter confirmation bias. ranging from the discussions we have with family and friends over dinner to the interactions we have with coworkers at the office. A small game to help you recognize confirmation bias whether it affects you or when someone else is.
“How much do you want to bet?” is all you need to say when you are confident that the information you are providing is true and verifiable. The individual immediately starts to match their remarks with the truth. If not, you just leave with a tidy paycheck.
This exercise is not intended to win the bet or to disprove the individual. But the goal is to counteract the confirmation bias that has been pointed out in the discussion.
Despite the fact that the falsehood has been demonstrated to be false, people still propagate it because it connects with them emotionally. Alternately, they might proceed with a fresh finding that they are happy to announce and can substantiate.
Congratulations, you have just been aware of your own confirmation bias if the wager fails and you are found to be mistaken.
How do you avoid Confirmation Bias in UX?
There must be some means of preventing confirmation bias during the UX design process because no organization can afford to make bad design decisions based on someone else’s preferences. By employing the many techniques and methods outlined below, confirmation bias can be minimized and avoided during the UX design process.
Never make any assumptions. Although it is acknowledged that you may have past expertise and knowledge, you will discover as you work in the UX design area that every user is unique and that every issue has some particular details that you may not have dealt with before. Therefore, it is preferable to do objective research to understand the user, problems, and potential solutions.
Be skeptical of your own assumptions and check them during user research.
Begin with an open mind
You undoubtedly have a point of view on any issue or topic under debate, and that is entirely reasonable. You are, however, designing for others rather than for yourself. Never try to impose your ideas on users while dealing with them, and constantly try to adopt their perspective.
Start with an open mind, gain an understanding of your user, meet with them, and observe them for this purpose. This will assist you in understanding their challenges and their pain points.
Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to assist users in any manner you can.
Be prepared for controversies
The users’ opinions can contradict your beliefs and presumptions. Give them the opportunity to express their position in order to gently handle this scenario. Try to comprehend why there is a difference of opinion. There might have been situations and details that you missed.
Your perspective on users, issues, and solutions can alter if you adopt a positive attitude toward diversity.
Pose the right questions
Allow users to freely share their opinions without publicly stating their own. Pose open-ended inquiries. Do not pose biased questions. And occasionally it can happen unintentionally as you build a feature and repeatedly debate it with your peers. You’ve already made up your mind to act in the manner you wanted to.
Be careful while asking questions. Do not expose your thoughts in front of the users.
Make data-based design decisions
The use of data in the UX design process is crucial. At each level of the design process, data must be gathered, analyzed, and used to inform design decisions. Utilizing real facts allows you to eliminate your inaccurate assumptions without feeling guilty, which is an effective strategy to minimize confirmation bias. The result is a product that meets the needs of the users.
Test your creations with various user groups
When you are testing your designs and gathering feedback, don’t rely solely on one type of user. Always divide up your user base into different groups based on their characteristics and interests. Get opinions from a variety of people; this will enable you to gather objective information.
Additionally, it will be simpler to question your own presumptions, which will lessen the likelihood of confirmation bias during the design process.
By adhering to the recommended guidelines and creating solutions that help users achieve their objectives, confirmation bias can be avoided. A product’s success in the modern world of fierce competition for businesses depends largely on the collection and analysis of actual data.