The call for equity, diversity and inclusion are on the rise more so than ever, and yet, we still sometimes find ourselves being unconsciously bias in our industries. According to UX Collective, “It has been shown that we do 98% of our thinking in our subconscious mind. This is where we store our implicit or unconscious biases,” (Heazlewood, J). It can be easy to assume that a particular age group, gender, or race are going to be interacting with what we create, especially when proper user research, prototyping and testing aren’t conducted.
Unconscious bias tends to stem from perspectives we have on the world that we think are true—if we’re designing based on our perspective of the world, rather than looking at a big picture, we can fall into the trap of designing what we think is ideal versus what’s actually user-friendly for the target audience.
In class, we learned about the D School Critical Lens Protocol, which is used to help design teams ensure they’re creating not only positive user experiences, but also that their products address equity and diversity. Another helpful tool is the D School and design company, IDEO’s Designing for Worldview Framework. These tools can be very useful for self-realization of unconscious bias, and could therefore, pave the path to a more clear design lens.
Companies can further try to eliminate unconscious bias in design by being more cognizant of who they hire. Creating a team of diverse designers can help balance and even counter unconscious bias. When designs come from different perspectives, it can create a more well-rounded user experience for target audiences.
“When we shed light on our unconscious bias — which we can’t see without external feedback — we free ourselves to rise to the next level of success in UX design,” (Evans, B).