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UX Tip #89 Don't let 'Impression Management' ruin your UX Research

We all want to be nice, smart people.

As humans, we generally want to be perceived positively by others.

Woman with fake smile

We influence the perceptions of others about ourselves, objects or events by regulating the information we make available in social interactions, both consciously and subconsciously. As such, people often mask their true feelings and behaviour if they think it won’t make a good impression.

This impression management behaviour in User Experience Research can make it difficult for researchers to uncover users’ true needs, motivations, and their current pain points.

To reduce the effects of impression management, we recommend the following three techniques:

  • Assure participants that their responses will be recorded anonymously.
  • Explicitly encourage open and honest feedback.
  • Let participants know that critical feedback is very useful.

These techniques, when used in conjunction with our other UX Tips will encourage participants to be more open and honest in their feedback and result in better User Experience Research for your company.



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