Dunning-Kruger effect

Theory explained by Sander Volbeda and written by David Dunning and Justin Kruger

The Dunning-Kruger effect in psychology discusses the tendency of people to overestimate their own capabilities. This is a type of cognitive bias and the result of the effect is a person who thinks he is much more capable and smarter than he really is. This happens as people with low abilities do not have the skill sets to tackle their own incompetence. There’s a famous saying of Charles Darwin which is ‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge’ which absolutely is true. You might have experienced the Dunning-Kruger effect in the real world. Haven’t you ever come across people who go and go on discussing a topic ignoring anybody’s opinion insisting that they are always correct? The Dunning-Kruger Effect is not a common occurrence with every person though.

Why do people experience the Dunning-Kruger Effect? 

1. People being overconfidence with little knowledge 
This is a dangerous situation where people believe themselves to be experts of a subject with a very little awareness of the topic. When people somehow manage to interpret some little details to come to conclusions that make sense for them, they tend to believe they know everything about that subject. And when they do this on a daily basis, they unintentionally think and believe that they’re smarter than everybody. 

2. People having the inability to look at things in others’ point of view 
This is known as the difficulty with metacognition. People who experience the Dunning-Kruger effect do not possess the ability to look at a certain thing in any other point of view besides their own point of view. This is why such people have a real belief in their abilities. 

As a web designer, how to avoid the Dunning-Kruger Effect? 

When we are experienced in a certain profession, we tend to believe that we know everything and the best practices in the profession. Having a good knowledge of a subject and thinking that we are really skilful in the field is not a result of Dunning-Kruger effect at all. Let’s hop into the field of web designing. As a web designer, you may have a vast knowledge of best practices and latest technologies. Yes, you’re truly smart and knowledgeable. Let’s assume such a person has very limited knowledge of the preferences of their target audience. Your target customers may not like or may not expect a feature the way you’ve presented it. But if you’re a person who doesn’t like to be flexible with consumer preferences just because you’re an expert in the field, then it’s the biggest mistake that you are doing. More the dissatisfied customers, less the opportunities for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) will be.  Therefore, it’s important to walk in your target audience’s shoes to see what's best for them regardless of how knowledgeable or skilled you’re in the field. Knowing what’s best for you may not be the best for your customers is the key to avoid the negative implications of the Dunning-Kruger effect. 

 

Top tips for effective website designing to avoid the impacts of Dunning Kruger effect 


1.  Do extensive research on the expectations of the target people 
Satisfying the customers is the key to Conversion Rate Optimization. To satisfy them you should be well aware of their requirements and expectations during their stay at your site. It’s important to know every key aspect of your customer expectations. You can assess your design in terms of, 

·         Quality content 

·         Compelling visual design 

·         Easy navigation 

·         Loading time etc. 

2.  Study how the leading websites of similar practice are designed 
You can study a leading website of a similar industry as a benchmark and improve your design further. Even if you’re framed by the Dunning Kruger effect, it’s important to force yourself out of it to generate an output which is best for your target people. Assessing the status of your design on par with another successful design will help you to get rid of your own misconceptions easily. 

3.  Take the opinions of the visitors seriously 
Even if you are so sure about your approaches in designing, it’s always a safe move to take the opinions of the target audience into serious consideration. Checking the reviews posted by the people for similar products and services in different websites will help you a great deal to determine the troubles they face or the things they appreciate. Those are top quality information that you can use to design your website ensuring Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). 

Conclusion 

Having a Dunning Kruger effect is not something to be ashamed or worried about. After all, it’s just how psychology works for you. But the most important thing is to know that you have the effect and acknowledge it. When you make yourself present on online platforms for business purposes, walking on the shoes of your target audience is something that you should not overlook no matter how smart you think you are. 

There’s a common saying in the world of business that your customers are always right. If you don’t step out of the Dunning Kruger effect, you won’t be able to take the maximum advantage of consumer behaviour for the favour of your business. Taking that concept seriously into consideration is absolutely vital to drive more and more leads towards your business followed by more profits. Also, as a smart web designer, feel free to step out of your comfort zone to make the maximum advantage of consumer behaviour for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). 

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