UIEtips: The Hunt for Missing Expectations

Jared Spool

October 24th, 2012

In today’s UIEtips, I discusses the difference between failed and missed expectations, and how to avoid them. Here’s an excerpt from the article.

When many folks reach into their user research toolbox, the first tools to emerge are surveys and usability testing. However, these are not that helpful with discovering potential missed expectations.

Surveys are usually out of context, making it hard for the respondent to identify what’s missing, particularly when it’s something they haven’t used yet. After all, when someone imagines a new design, they imagine it will meet all of their expectations.

For example, imagine I was building a new hotel and I asked you what you’d expect to be in the ideal hotel room. It’s unlikely you’d think to mention “a working bathroom” because you’d just assume I’d already know that. However, I’m betting you’d be surprised if there was no bathroom when you checked in.

Watching users work with the design, the core practice known as usability testing, also struggles to uncover important missed expectations. They seem like they’d be perfect, but the way we construct the tasks — what we ask our participants to do with our design — gets in our way.

Read the article, The Hunt for Missing Expectations.

Learn to use the Kano Model to meet expectations

Meeting expectations is a cornerstone of the Kano Model which Jared will speak about in his October 25 UIE virtual seminar. Read more about his seminar.

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