The Negativity Bias in User Experience
December 08, 2016 Reading time ~1 min
The Nielsen Norman Group writes an article about the negativity bias and them impact to user experience. This is an extract from the original article you can find here: “The Negativity Bias in User Experience” from Hoa Loranger
What is Negativity Bias?
It`s a simple psychological effect: Humans pay more attention or give more weight to negative experiences over neutral or positive experiences.
Even when negative experiences are inconsequential, humans tend to focus on the negative.
An example shows this effect: the bad feelings from losing $20 are stronger than the happy feelings of finding $20
- Why are humans attuned to the negative?
- Bad news or negative traits signal danger
- From an evolutionary perspective, learning to identify potentially dangerous situations was essential for survival
- How does negativity bias related to UX?
- Single usability flaw on your site will weigh more than the many positive features
- Research shows that websites have improved over the years > yet users’ satisfaction ratings have remained the same
- Reasons: UX failures count more than UX successes; people judge a site by comparing it with other sites
- How to avoid negative experiences?
- Follow design standards: Use learned patterns instead of inventing new
- Match workflows to user expectations: Know the mental models of the users
- Anticipate users’ concerns and address them: Create pleasant encounters
- Write good error messages: Websites need sometimes error messages to help people resolve unavoidable issues.
- Sprinkle delightful encounters: Counteract negative with delightful experiences; make your users smile; serendipitous encounters can leave lasting impressions
- Test, test, and then test: designing usable websites that solve users’ problems; understand your users and their tasks;
This article is a summary of the original article by Nielsen Norman Group: “The Negativity Bias in User Experience” (Click to go to the article)