Mistakes To Avoid When Dealing With Confirmation Bias In UX

Magnus Lundström
5 min readNov 29, 2022

Overcoming confirmation bias is a real challenge in the field of UX design. You’re not alone if you struggle with confirmation bias in your UX design. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help mitigate it. Here we’ll break down what confirmation bias is and provide some tips on how to combat it in your UX design process.

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Confirmation Bias: Definition

Confirmation bias is a cognitive phenomenon that causes people to seek out and interpret information in ways that support their preconceived beliefs. As a result, it can lead to faulty decision-making, as people need to consider alternative perspectives.

A typical example of confirmation bias is when a person only looks for evidence that supports their existing point of view on a specific topic. They may ignore contradictory or inconclusive evidence and only focus on what confirms their own beliefs.

What impact does confirmation bias have on UX design?

When UX designers rely too heavily on confirmation bias, they risk overlooking important user feedback and data. This can lead to designs not tailored to user needs and preferences.

Confirmation bias can also cause designers to overlook potential usability issues or design flaws, as they may be too focused on the design choices they’ve already made. This can lead to a poor user experience and adversely affect a product’s or website’s success.

How to overcome confirmation bias in UX design?

1. Understand the user’s perspective

Understanding the user’s perspective and objectives is vital before beginning a UX design project. This will help to ensure that you are designing for the right user group and tailoring the design to their needs.

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2. Focus on user research

Focus on gathering user feedback and data to inform your design decisions. This will help ensure the design is tailored to user needs and preferences. You need to ensure that the data you’re collecting comes from a diverse range of users rather than just those who confirm your existing beliefs.

3. Consider alternative perspectives

It’s essential to listen to the opinions of your team and consider different points of view when making design decisions. This will help you gain a more rounded understanding of the user’s perspective and objectives and avoid becoming too attached to your ideas.

4. Split test designs

Split testing is a great way to validate your design decisions and check that they meet user needs. This can be done by conducting user tests or surveys to get direct feedback from users. This can help you to identify potential design flaws and usability issues that you may need to look into due to confirmation bias.

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5. Don’t get hurt by negative feedback

If users provide negative feedback on your design, it doesn’t mean that you have failed. Instead, it’s an opportunity to refine and improve your design. By keeping an open mind and not getting too attached to your existing design, you can use user feedback to inspire further improvements.

6. Take a step back

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck in your design, take a step back and review the user research and feedback you’ve gathered. This can give you a fresh perspective and put the design into context.

What are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when dealing with confirmation bias?

1. Don’t rely too heavily on your own opinion

All designers know how difficult this is because they always have strong, individual opinions. However, it’s essential to be aware of confirmation bias and ensure that you are considering alternative perspectives and user feedback.

2. Don’t ignore contradictory evidence

If you come across evidence that contradicts your existing beliefs, pay attention to it. Consider the evidence objectively and use it to inform your design decisions.

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3. Don’t get too attached to existing designs

It’s essential to avoid becoming too attached to existing design decisions and be willing to change things up if necessary. Split testing is a great way to get feedback on how users respond to different versions of your design.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you feel like you are getting stuck in your design process, feel free to ask for help from other team members. Getting a fresh perspective can be invaluable in helping to identify potential design flaws or usability issues.

How to prevent bias in your data collection

Okay, so we’ve covered how to avoid confirmation bias in UX design. But how do you ensure that the data you collect is unbiased? Here are a few tips:

1. Get feedback from a diverse range of users

Ensure that you are getting feedback from a wide range of users. This could include different genders, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. This will help to ensure that the data you collect is representative of your target audience.

2. Avoid asking leading questions

When conducting user tests or surveys, avoid asking leading questions that may influence the user’s response. Keep your questions open-ended and avoid making assumptions about user behavior or preferences.

3. Remind yourself of the users’ goals

Remember to keep the user’s goals in mind when analyzing data. This will help you identify potential confirmation biases and focus your attention on what matters most: the user experience.

4. Double-check data sets

Data sets can be complex and prone to errors, so it is vital to double-check them to ensure they are accurate. If you spot any anomalies or inconsistencies in the data, investigate further to determine the cause.

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5. Keep track of changes

Finally, be sure to keep track of any changes that you make to the data sets. This will help you to identify any potential bias and ensure that the data sets are up to date.

Conclusion

Confirmation bias is one thing that even the best UX companies struggle with. However, with a bit of effort and the right strategies, it is possible to overcome this challenge and ensure that your designs are based on unbiased user data.

By conducting user research and collecting feedback from a wide range of sources, you can ensure that the needs and preferences of your users inform your designs. Additionally, by avoiding leading questions and double-checking data sets, you can help to avoid potential biases that could lead to inaccurate design decisions.

Overall, by taking the proper steps to prevent confirmation bias in your UX design, you can ensure that your designs are practical and user-focused.

Good luck!

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