UX Myths – Myth #21: People can tell you what they want

Misc

Many organizations still rely on asking people what changes they’d like to see in their website or service, neglecting historical research failures like the new Coke or the Aeron chair.

When asking people, you have to be aware that people make confident but false predictions about their future behavior, especially when presented with a new and unfamiliar design. There’s a huge difference between imagining using something and actually using it. In addition, human preferences are rather unstable.

That said, you should still listen to your customers. But make sure you know what to ask and how to interpret the answers.

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