User expectations refers to the
consistencythat users expect from products. Interaction designis very concerned with this topic. For example, our user expectations for traffic behavior is one of the more consistent ones because it is governed by traffic laws that are enforced. Software, or even worse small consumer electronics, on the other hand, can have widely varying degrees of consistency.
rule of thumbor "design principle" to use in interaction design is to follow the " Principle of least astonishment". In the case of interactive software applications, for example, users form expectations based on their experience with similar kinds of software. Effective software designaims to conform with prevailing norms for aspects of behavior such as the software's user interfaceand its responsiveness.
A commonly noted sign of poor
usabilityand human factorsdue to the violation of user expectations is when signs are needed for common things like doors. This was made famous by Donald A. Normanin his seminal book The Psychology of Everyday Things. There is also a website devoted to such Bad Designs [http://baddesigns.com] .
User experience design
* [http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000272.php User Expectations in a World of Smart Devices, by Mike Kuniavsky]
* [http://webword.com/moving/expectations.html Managing User Expectations, by John Rhodes]
* [http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/5-how-to-avoid-foolish-consistency/ How to Avoid Foolish Consistency, by Scott Berkun]
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