Confirmation bias occurs in UX research when teams rely on results that support their ideas or hypotheses rather than thoroughly testing them. It also happens to be a common human tendency which can make it especially challenging for teams to identify.
How does confirmation bias impact UX and CX?
Because confirmation bias is human nature, it can sneak into your customer feedback process easily if you’re not careful. Confirmation bias can cause issues when teams stop exploring or listening to other customers once they feel their thesis has been supported by a few participants. The danger here is that while a handful of participants may have validated the team's assumptions, those that didn’t have valid and valuable feedback as well.
Even if the additional feedback is in the minority, the insights those participants share can give teams important insight that they might otherwise have ignored if they had only listed to the participants that supported their thesis.
How to avoid confirmation bias in UX
The best way to avoid confirmation bias in your UX and design research is to acknowledge that it exists up-front. Then, craft your test plan before beginning to gather feedback. Have a colleague review your plan and ultimately, the findings to ensure you’re being objective with the results.
Last but not least, always remember that you’re not your user, so be sure to keep them at the heart of everything you do and listen to all their feedback with an open mind.