Digital bias: The mental shortcuts we use to make decisions online

8 biases to win over users

Amy Leak
Oct 26, 2016 · 1 min read

How many times have you beat yourself up over an irrational decision you’ve made?

Justifying a McDonald’s based on a workout session you did a week ago? Buying the newest smartphone because you need those extra million megapixels? Texting your ex when you’ve had one too many tequila shots?

Well you can relax. Because every single decision you’ll ever make is irrational. Give yourself a break.


What is cognitive bias?

Cognitive biases are the mental shortcuts we take to help us make decisions. And they don’t make much sense. On average, we make 35,000 decisions a day—so without bias, we’d never get anything done.

Our biases help us make decisions when:

  • we have too much information
  • we need to fill in the gaps
  • we need to make a quick decision

Join me as I explore the question: How might we use cognitive bias to help users make good decisions online?

Up first: Make every interaction count

Amy Leak

Written by

Amy Leak

UX Writer for the BBC spending everyday looking for the right words.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade