Confirmation Bias

How to Overcome Confirmation Bias in UX Design?

Confirmation Bias

What is Confirmation Bias?

Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information or interpret the information in a way that supports our prior beliefs and opinions. Being human, this tendency is natural, and it is very common to pay attention to things that match our views and ignore or dislike the piece of information that contradicts our opinions even if it is correct or based on facts.

Confirmation bias can impact our lives in different ways. It can result in the loss of good relationships with people around us as well as it can impact our career by processing the information in an illogical and biased manner.

However, we can control and manage this phycological impairment by adopting certain ways as mentioned in the sections below.

How Does Confirmation Bias Impact UX Design?

User research is the most critical and foremost step in the UX design process. During this step, the UX designers identify users, meet with them, and understand their pain points that need to consider while designing the product for them.

Confirmation bias can be dangerous for user research and UX design. It can easily lead to incorrect decisions based on false assumptions and personal preferences and hence impact the overall products and business.

During user research, asking incorrect questions from users results in biased outcomes. Similarly, if you ask biased questions while performing user testing, it can make users unintentionally confirm your thoughts and opinions instead of providing their own perspectives.

This way the confirmation bias can lead to a product that does not truly reflect the needs of the users since it involves decisions that are made based on your own assumptions.

Ways to Overcome Confirmation Bias in UX Design

Since any organization cannot afford incorrect design decisions based on someone’s preferences, there must be some ways to control the confirmation bias during the UX design process.

Confirmation bias in the UX design process can be controlled and avoided by following different ways and practices as listed below.

Do Research

Never assume anything. It is understood that you may have prior experience and knowledge, however, while working in the UX design field, you will see that every user is different from others and every problem has some specific details that you may have not worked on before. Hence, it is better to perform unbiased research to know the user, problems, and possible solutions.

Don’t believe your own assumptions and confirm your thoughts during user research.

Start with Open Mind

Certainly, you have an opinion on every problem or discussion point and that totally makes sense. However, you are designing for users and not for yourself. While working with users, don’t try to impose your thoughts, and always try to think with their mindset. For this purpose, start with an open mind, understand your user, meet with them, and observe them. This will help you to get their pain points and learn the way they think about problems.

Remember, your job is to facilitate the users in every possible way.

Get Ready for Disagreements

The users can have an opinion that denies your thoughts and assumptions. Handle this situation gracefully by providing them with a chance to explain their point. Try to understand the reason behind this disagreement. There can be scenarios and details that you might have missed.

A positive attitude towards differences can change your opinion about users, problems, and solutions.

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Ask Correct Questions

Give users the option to think openly without expressing your own beliefs in front of them. Ask open-ended questions. Don’t ask questions that are biased. And sometimes it can happen unintentionally since you are designing a feature and discussing it with your peers again and again. This has already set your mind about the intended behavior.

Be careful while asking questions and do not expose your thoughts in front of users.

Make Design Decisions Based on Data

Data is an essential part of the UX design process. It is important to collect data at each stage of the design process, analyze it and use it to make the design decisions. Relying on real data is an efficient way to avoid confirmation bias as it helps you to kill your false assumptions without making you feel bad. And the outcome is a product that satisfies the users’ needs.

Test Your Designs Among Multiple User Groups

Don’t rely on one type of user when you are testing your designs and getting feedback. Always define multiple segments of users based on their demographics and interests. Get feedback from a diverse audience and it will help you to collect unbiased input. Also, it will make it easier to challenge your own assumptions and hence reduce the chance of confirmation bias in the design process.


Confirmation bias can be avoided by following the given practices and designing products that serve the users to achieve their goals. In today’s world where organizations are facing tough competition, designing a product without collecting and analyzing real data will rarely lead to success.

Learn UX Design

To learn more on how to design better experiences, consider the Interaction Design Foundation’s (IDF) online courses on User Research – Methods and Best Practices.

Apart from courses, webinars, and bootcamps, the IDF is also home to the biggest and most authoritative library of open-source UX Design Resources. Check out the free UX Literature here.

In addition, the UX Academy offers world-class 1-on-1 online training in UX design, access to a vibrant community, and help to get a product design job.

Thanks for reading.

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