6 Ways Psychology Affects Your Design Work
Cognitive biases can easily sneak into your design work, especially if you work on a team
We designers continuously refine our design process and try different methodologies. We work on a problem, research, analyze findings, develop solutions, take feedback, and iterate. A lot has been discussed on how each of these steps can be improved or different methods associated with it, but we often forget to emphasize how important it is to stay neutral and be patient during the whole process.
Biases often creep into our design decisions. Jumping to a conclusion, taking a shortcut, letting your personal experience influence the finding, a gap in communication, and more can easily lead you in the wrong direction. It is even harder to stay on course when you work as a part of a team. Everyone has their own view, which may or may not align with each other. Although multiple views enrich the process, the chances of biased opinions manifesting in our design decisions multiply over the course of our design process.
As designers, we should avoid such biases and understand the importance of staying neutral while evaluating everyone’s opinion. Remember, acknowledging the problem is the first step in fixing the problem.
1. Confirmation bias
Confirmation bias comes from direct beliefs or theories. Individuals tend to look for evidence to back their existing beliefs while ignoring the flip side. Once they have formed an opinion, they embrace the information that supports it and ignore or don’t weigh the opinions that are against it. This is motivated by wishful thinking.
For example, say you come across a review of a product that you like. The review discusses the pros and cons of that product. You will focus on the pros more than the cons and may not consider that the product might not be the best for you.
More often than we realize during our design process, we stick to beliefs based on initial research, which can drive our project into a different direction altogether. And once…