David Dylan Thomas: Design for Cognitive Bias – Episode 80
David Dylan Thomas David Dylan Thomas can help you tame the unconscious biases that can undermine your design decision-making. These biases are strong. You may never conquer them all. But recognizing them and accounting for them in your content strategy and design work can mitigate the hazards they present. You need to be on your toes at every turn to account for these cognitive biases. They can affect the products and experiences you design, your collaborations with your team, and your own behavior. Dave's new book shows you how to deal with each of these challenges. Dave and I talked about: the importance of understanding how people make decisions and how much of that process is unconscious and irrational how his Cognitive Bias Podcast led to the insights that inform his book an example of using anonymized resumes to remove bias from hiring processes how to re-introduce friction into design processes to slow down your thinking so that you have chance to make less-biased decisions the importance of adopting design practices that check your biases - e.g., "Red Team, Blue Team" or speculative design the hazards of focusing on the positive outcomes of our design work and ignoring the many possible negatives outcome the story of Abraham Wald and how he brilliantly figured out where to put armor on warplanes, leading to insight about "survivorship bias" how cognitive biases manifest in general, in end-user designs, in internal design processes, and in your own personal behavior how the fear of loss is twice as powerful as the prospect of gain, illustrating the bias of "loss aversion" how the design of real-life and virtual spaces prime people for different behaviors the three key biases to consider when looking at your personal behavior: notational bias confirmation bias déformation professionnelle, the bias of seeing the world through the lens of your job Dave's Bio David Dylan Thomas, author of the book Design for Cognitive Bias from A Book Apart, serves as Content Strategy Advocate at Think Company and is the creator and host of the Cognitive Bias Podcast. He has developed digital strategies for major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, IA Conference, Design and Content Conference, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice. Follow Dave on the Web DavidDylanThomas.com Twitter Cognitive Bias Podcast Links Mentioned in the Podcast Design for Cognitive Bias book Design for Community, Derek Powazek Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, Ingrid Fetell Lee Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/KLEetglYvrc Podcast Intro Transcript We human beings like to think that we're rational creatures, carefully looking at an array of objective factors before we make a decision. In a professional setting like a content strategy or design practice, we may feel like we're at the pinnacle of this rationality. In fact, we're operating on auto-pilot about 95 percent of the time, making decisions based on biases that are hard-wired into our thinking. Dave Thomas can help you understand and tame these cognitive biases and make better design and business decisions. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 80 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Dave Thomas. Larry: David Dylan Thomas was with us two years ago, shortly after Confab 2018, where he and I talked. So welcome back, Dave, I'm excited to see your new book. It's called Design for Cognitive Bias. So tell us a little bit about the book, and what folks can expect from it. Dave: Sure. Well, first off, we're really happy to be back. I can't believe it's been two years.