Product Designers Should Know Cognitive Biases: Here's Why

We can easily say that humans are easily affected by their surroundings. Even though we are considered as strong being, we are not strong enough when it comes to handling our emotions. We are easily influenced by other people’s action, words and their wrongdoing. The context affects us in a way that our thinking process is totally dependent on it.

Importance of cognitive biases But what exactly influences our behavior? A psychological answer is: Cognitive Biases. A cognitive bias is a limitation in our objective thinking when we are processing information from around us. It affects the judgments and decisions we make and can cause wrong conclusions or choices.

Importance of Cognitive Biases

Different types of cognitive biases affect individuals differently. They can influence a person’s ability for critical thinking and decision-making. Every person perceives information surrounding him individually, which, in turn, changes him to make different decisions than the others.

Many organizations are using cognitive biases to increase sales and profits, influencing the customers' decision-making process, developing and changing their opinions.

Cognitive Biases In Action

Major eCommerce sites like Amazon,, TripAdvisor, use cognitive biases to deviate customers from logical or rational thinking. They make the customers' decision process faster and more efficient.

An example, if you see that 20,000 people have purchased a product you're looking for, you will believe that it must be good and you will buy it. Behind the information of the number of buyers, in reality, there is an effective persuasion tactic, behind there is the cognitive bias of social proof. This bias explains how we will usually look to others for reassurance, especially when we are unsure about our action.

There are endless strategies designed to improve eCommerce applications and increase sales with powerful psychological effects.

Types of cognitive biases

The following is a selection of cognitive biases - the entire list counts more than 150 - that impact beliefs, decisions, and behavior in eCommerce websites.

Herd mentality: it depicts how individuals can be influenced by their friends or colleagues to acquire some behaviors on the basis of emotional, rather than, rational basis.

Loss Aversion: it's a tendency of individuals to fear loss more than making a profit.

Anchoring Bias: it's a process in which an individual makes a decision in response to the pre-existing data.

Confirmation Bias: it's the idea that people try to seek out information that only confirms their opinions and they ignore all the information that opposes their beliefs.

These cognitive biases have been proven to work for a variety of eCommerce applications.

Cognitive biases on Wikipedia

Why Should We Know Cognitive Biases?

Many organizations are investing time and money increasingly to investigate new forms of persuasion taking advantage of cognitive biases.

This means that the role of biases is crucial especially on user interfaces because they perform specific actions, such as purchasing a product. Using them, we can create a better User Experience and drive more conversions.

22 March 2019
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