User Research

Your Expectations vs. Your Visitors’ Expectations

Expectations over expectations. We all have ones and the most of them are different from the others’. So, as an e-marketer you have certain expectations concerning your website. What about your users? Do they expect the same as you? They most likely don’t.


Photo source: Flickr.com

Making a website beneficial for its users is the purpose of its own existence. When designing it, you should start your construction based on two main pillars:

  1. Identify and define visitors’ expectations and goals
  2. Organize your content based on your visitors’ expectations and goals

As you can see, everything you do is for your visitors. You set up a goal and, in order to achieve it, you have to know what your users’ goals are.



Your goal: increasing sales by 5%

Visitors’ goals: finding something beneficial for themselves

Your goal ≠ visitors’ goal

Their goal is not to buy YOUR products so you can increase sales. Their goal is to satisfy one of THEIR needs by purchasing a specific item.

Have in mind the fact that there are 3 tiers of visitors’ expectations that you can use in order to personalize their experience on your website:

  • Entrenched, Secure Expectations: every user expects to see at least the Contact Us Page. After visiting so many websites, a user is subconsciously looking for a phone number, email address and other data concerning your identity.
  • Formative Expectations are the result of the user’s  similar experiences on website: for example, if he lately visited sites that provide content through a blog, he may expect to find one on similar websites that offer similar products or services.
  • Instant/Short-living Expectations are unique: they’re formed instantly when the user arrives on your website: the layout, the images, headlines and so on gives him a first impression. After living the website, his expectations are dissipating.

So, what you can do to meet your visitors’ expectations? One solution is to run surveys that can offer you valuable information about them. Moreover, you can test the layout, headlines, images and almost everything on your website through A/B Tests and Multivariate Test.


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