All smart digital products designed should ideally adapt to expectations of the users as well as the aspects and activity of theirs. In this modern world personality and context gave become a commonplace with more and more digital products emerging on the market that can act intelligently.
Given such an ongoing trend in the market place, it is but natural for the users to expect better digital assets which will help them to interactwith it just like humans and not machines. In this 21stcentury, with the technical advancements things are not limited to the designers anymore. They can now create better digital products than before that fully live up to the expectations of the users and meet with each and every of their diverse needs.
Now you will get a UX design research firm that has a secure foundation of the rudimentary psychology of design and match it with the ways people now wish to interact with their smart products. They have now been able to formulate better guidelines for designing better digital products that will not deviate from the users’ expectations.
The two pronged challenges
As a UX designer when you have to create a digital product that will act intelligently and do several things by itself due to the automated features, you will need to have a lot of experience to base your design attempt on the expectations of the users.
Therefore, anticipating the exact needs of the users as well as the quantum of their expectations can really be a tough ask. It will cause you different challenges in the process of your designing interaction with digital products.
As a consequence, while designing smart digital products according to the expectation of your users will cause you challenges from two sides. It is especially important that you know these so that you can overcome these with confidence and successfully. These two challenges are:
- The expectation of the users – When it comes to the expectation of the users from smart digital products, research in human psychologyfrom scholars say that users typically tend to treat these products as if these are intentional and intelligent. That means before you start with your design process you must conduct a thorough research on the basis of the expectations of your users and how best you can manage those expectations.
- The expectation of the designer – Just as the users you too will have your share of expectations as a designer. It will be unwise for you to underestimate the user context or the complexity of understanding the users themselves. Remember, the better you understand, more you will be able to predict the expectations of the users as well as their context.
Therefore, to start with you will first have to know about the habits of the users and then program yourself accordingly to ensure the best design that will provide the best user experience. Just consider the media and peoples’ responses towards it and you will have a fair idea about what users expect from your digital product.
Intelligent social being
Media today are more than just tools. These are now treated politely by the users as these have the ability to do much more that provide or share information such as:
- It can invade in the users’ space
- It can have personalities that will match with that of the users
- It can be a teammate and
- It can even elicit gender stereotypes.
This means you will have to design your product not as a tool but as intelligent social being. You will have to consider the technological product not as mere objects with software programs but something that has intentions, feelings and most importantly sophisticated intelligence.
Managing the users’ expectations
There are a few specific guidelines to follow to effectively manage the expectations of your users. These steps will ensure that you incorporate all those features and elements in your design that will make your product ‘feel’ what the userwants to say and ‘act’ or ‘react’ accordingly.
- First, never expect to deliver more than you can and promise anything that is ‘too good to be true.’ If it is able to do actually then you should only focus on creating something that acts and looks social.
- Secondly, be very specific in your design and if at all possible, inform your user clearly about the abilities of your product regarding what it can do and what it is doing as of now.
- Thirdly, relate your products with your users. This means if you consider your product to be intelligent which ideally is a technical tool, it goes without saying that you must assume that your users are equally intelligent if not more, having a human brain.
Make sure that the product has social skills. For this you will have to consider the obvious social rules that may exist within your domain and try not to break them.
Strategies for managing limitations
It is true that there will be limitations and challenges as people are complex with even more complex expectations. However, with proper strategies followed you will be able to remove the complexities from it and design the best possible digital product that will not perform but respond to the feelings of your users. Therefore, consider the following to manage the limitations:
- When it comes to understanding the context of the users you should never assume that your product can fully understand it. Therefore, you should offer several options and suggestions along with your dynamic solutions that will be easily available to the users.
- You must never interrupt their user journey when you provide options. If you are unsure about it you should focus on the limited scenarios only of which you have a clear idea about what is going on.
The bottom line is you must make sure that you always provide your users with an easy way to turn off any autonomic adaptation or action. The take away: You must be very clear in communicating your users about what your product can and cannot do.
Karen is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible towards her job. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with her friends and colleagues.