Right before Megan and I were married, a good friend drew an illustration that was more helpful than any gift we received.
The gist of the drawing was that disappoint- ment spans the gap of expectation and reality. The end goal for this little picture is to guard our marriage with realistic, well-communicated expectations. This helps us bridge this Expectation Gap and alleviate disappointment. Well, that’s nice Josh, but what the heck does it mean for digital? I’ll tell you - absolutely the opposite.
Disappointment is fertile ground for new ideas and better solutions. Pay attention to your expectations and they’ll let you know where improvements are needed.
Disappointment is fertile ground for new ideas and better solutions. Pay attention to your expectations and they’ll let you know where improvements are needed. Respond to the frustrations of your users and you can stay ahead of the game. When it comes to digital, the user is always right. If she expects more images of a product, then you better give her more images. If he expects better content suggestions, it’s your job to give him valuable recommendations. Bottom line, don’t make them lower their expectations, raise your reality.
Are You Complete?
I’ve recently heard a few talks about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to Maslow, when we meet our physiological, safety, relational, and esteem needs, all that remains is self-actualization - the need to feel complete and valid (cat food commercials appeal to this need by insinuating that your life will be complete when your cat eats real chunks of fish). This is the same end-goal of the web - to push past the basic needs and offer an experience that makes the user feel comfortable and important. We’ve met all the basic needs of online experiences, and it’s time to offer more. Exceed the norm and meet rising expectations. Give users content targeted to who they are, move past general demographics and provide custom experiences catered specifically to the user.
Around the office, we use brainstorms as a means of bridging the gap. Our number one rule is “no bad ideas,” so every idea gets a chance to survive. Free thinking leads to bridging the Expectation Gap and solving problems others have just said “can’t” to.
Have you found another way to bridge the Expectation Gap? Share your experience.Share Article