This presentation given at UXSA14 is about how our unconscious cognitive biases influence the decisions we make when managing and building products. It looks at how UX practices can help avoid these pitfalls
Digital product development is hard. It’s hard because we have brains that evolved under very different circumstances from those where we find ourselves now. We’re using brains that evolved to tell each other where the good fruit is; not build complex technology solutions. Our brains are adapted to expend the least amount of effort possible as cognition is metabolically expensive. As a result we have a tendency to fall prey to our cognitive biases. Unfortunately it isn’t feasible to rely only on System 2 slow thinking all the time. This means that even our awareness of innate cognitive biases is of little help in completely preventing falling into them. • Gather facts. It’s hard to know you’re improving if you’re not measuring. • Create a structure for making decisions. Define clear criteria to evaluate the merits of each option, and use them consistently. • Be mindful of subtle cues. Who’s included and who’s excluded? • Foster awareness. Hold yourself—and your colleagues—accountable. My best advice is keep your important decisions to the morning so that you have not expended all your available will power when making these decisions.
Cognitive bias, product management and you