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What are User Expectations?

User Expectations (UE) or user expectations are the expectations that users have of products, services or digital offerings. These can vary greatly from user to user and cover a very broad spectrum (objectives, use, dialogue, information, etc.)

  • Users have certain expectations of websites and apps
  • The UE can be present unconsciously or consciously
  • Is to be considered a significant factor by web designers

The importance of user expectations in online marketing

Nowadays developers of products, services, software or other offers have to know what users expect from them. This means that the corresponding user expectations must be known if customers are to be satisfied and long-term relationships are to be built. Especially online, users have a number of expectations both of the product itself and of its use. For this reason, designers and developers attach great importance to the usability of websites, software solutions and apps. Examples of common expectations of users can be clarity, loading speed, good design, mobile friendliness and the quality of the content of pages. However, if certain expectations or standards are not met, the operator runs the risk of deterring potential users. Users almost always expect at least a simple user guidance and dialogue design, followed by aesthetic aspects and other aspects. The user also always wants to achieve his set goal as far as possible, e.g. obtain certain information or purchase a product. However, users are not always aware of all these demands on navigation, design, frustration-free handling etc. The factors that influence user expectations are therefore quite diverse and affect the most diverse areas (such as information, interaction, problem solving). It should also be noted that developers can always have a completely different view than the users due to their previous technical knowledge. The term User Expectations is associated with other important topics such as usability and user experience design

The three levels of User Expectations

How users perceive websites or apps can be divided into three basic areas. Hidden expectations almost always exist unconsciously and automatically with the user. They arise from the experience of continuous use of websites over long periods of time. As a result, consumers are already accustomed to certain interactions and types of navigation, for example. An example of this can be the offer of payment methods in online shops. Since these shops usually have a wider range of payment options, the user would most likely not be satisfied with a website where, for example, payment can be made with a credit card only. Another example would be the expectation that some kind of “about us” subpage must exist, as is the case with most other websites. The second type of user expectations are the formative expectations. This summarizes all those claims that result from the user experience. An example of this is the almost always existing commentary possibilities on social media, blogs or video portals. The users have thus developed an awareness of certain demands and consequently expect the websites to satisfy these demands. The current expectations always relate specifically to individual pages and their use linked to time and place. Thus the complete appearance with all interaction and control elements, the layout and design as well as the concrete wording have an effect on the current expectations of the visitors. The users know exactly why they have visited this site or what they want to find on it. However, if there are any breaks in this perception, negative user reactions are usually generated and the visitor leaves the website again

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