Exceeding users expectations

3 min read
Design - Igniting Your Startup

Blow my mind!

Surprise me, in a good way, and you’ll earn enthusiasm from my part towards your business. Happy you, happy me, happy business… happy everyone!

A short story

A while ago, when I was using my home as an office, I was designing the UI for a travel website. I was getting up before the sun (sleepy bastard), working right ’til the moon was ready to go offline. Long days… And I loved it! But one day, while I was on “the battlefront” I got a phone call – it was a friend of mine asking me if I could postpone my tasks and go out for a beer. Naturally, I declined, being “submerged” in my project. “Oh, come on! Only once a year it’s your birthday!” His remark hit me like a speeding train… Pause! Pause everything! Jacket on! Beer mood ON!

When I got back… I opened the door of my apartment and suddenly an army of friends, with my fiance as their leader, welcomed me by yelling from the bottom of their souls “Suuurpriiise!”

It was all planned! Nobody said anything to me that day – not a phone call, no facebook message, nothing… Usually I would have been suspicious, but being so caught up by my tasks it skipped my attention. My friend invited me for a beer in order to get me out of the house. While I was drinking, in my mind one bold, all caps, echoing thought was buggin me: “You’ll get home and you’ll have a birthday celebration with no friends!”

And when I got back… my expectations were exceeded!

A bulleted story

There are some actions that must be taken in order to exceed your audience’s expectations:

  • Research – understand what expectations your customers have. Know what needs and emotions your audience has at almost any given moment. Without knowing them there isn’t a way to exceed them, now is it?
  • Review – look around you… Is there anything unchangeable? Time – relative. Weather – don’t make me laugh. People – you once were a baby, now you’re a grown-up. Everything changes. Emotions and expectations are no exceptions. You need to review from time to time the results found after the research.
  • Manage – you and your team must know how to deal with people emotions, needs, expectations and reactions.
  • Support – allocate budget for tests, or more to put it in a nicely form – for labs. “Play” around and discover new ways through which you can exceed your audience’s expectations.
  • Focus – you should assign your efforts to ‘help’ and not ‘sell’ department. Focus on your customers real priorities, help them to solve their issues and they’ll reward you.
  • Flexibility – as your company will grow, the flexibility will decrease and more an more rules will be applied, leaving less room for improvisation and creativity. It’s an entirely different story, but don’t forsaken your customers. Offer them flexibility from your part.
  • Personalize – make each customer a star. When you’re calling the mobile network operator, complaining that you’re not having a good signal on your cell phone, you wouldn’t want to hear that are thousands of people in the same situation as you. Instead you want to hear a solution for YOUR problems. Take care of your clients individually, one by one, and treat them the same way you want to be treated by others.

The moral

Even if the two above stories are so very different, they do have something in common – a point. And that would be the following: the clients are your best friends and each day is their birthday. Attend to their issues, help them, surprise them with your solutions. They might need your help without even knowing it!

Keep calm and exceed users expectations!

Interesting read?

About Ciprian Irimies

Ciprian is an UX Ninja, but what really makes him stand out of a crowd is the desire to venture into the unknown, to boldly face new challenges and the lack of hair on his head.