Usability Guidelines: User Expectation

August 9, 2017

Life can be stressful and unpredictable—the unexpected waits to pounce at any moment. If you stop to think about it, it's cause for anxiety.

So, how does this translate to user experience design? Expectation. Predictability. User's need it.

If a user expects an HTML form to give them a confirmation that the form was sent, give it to them. If a user expects a link to go to a new page, don't send them to an entirely different application. If a user expects to get a context menu when they right click on your site, give it to them.

The mundane parts of existence that are easy to predict compensate for the things that we can't predict. The comforting predictability counterbalances the anxiety of the unknown.

Don't take this to mean that boundaries and paradigms shouldn't be pushed, but this isn't the goal of the average website. The goal is usually to buy this or to read that. Don't throw your users off with clever "solutions." Make it easy for them to get what they need.