The Eye of the Beholder

We’ve all experienced something that has disappointed us.  Did you stop and think about why you were disappointed?  Most likely you associated the new experience with something from your past and came away with the thought that the current experience wasn’t as good as it could have been.

Companies that are showing off new products or agencies that are presenting to new clients are always dealing with expectations.  Michael Abrash (Microsoft, iD Software, Valve) recently detailed his thoughts on expectations when dealing with virtual reality glasses and wearable computing.  Although somewhat technical in nature, his point is well written.  He explains how the average consumer is used to high resolution monitors and screens.  This creates a nearly impossible expectation in creating VR Glasses.  He explains how expectations change over time especially in the ever-changing technological environment.  What we thought was amazing in 2005 may look worthless today.

Your website and how you market your company online are not exempt from everyone’s ever-changing expectations.  When was the last time you evaluated your online presence?  Have you taken a look at your website from other people’s perspectives?  Remember that different people may have higher expectations than you do.  Your customer’s expectations should probably have a higher priority than your own expectations.

A few reminders on your customers’ changing expectations…

  1. Does your website look okay in IE10, as well as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari? 
  2. Are people expecting you to have an active social media presence beyond just Facebook or Twitter? 
  3. Can people using both extra-large monitors and small smartphone devices use your website equally well?  In both cases, are links easily clicked with the touch of a finger?
  4. Are the people and the faces of the people that represent your business showing up in search results when customers search for your company or the products and services of your company? 

Yet it is not enough to take a look at what you have now and review it every so often.  In his article on virtual reality glasses, Michael Abrash spoke about the expectations of a device that is still in development.  Do you look at your customer’s expectations as you go about creating and producing your future products and services?  You should—and the same goes for any new website you create.  Sure, it’s important to have a website, but if you create a website that is below your customers' expectations, you may be doing more harm than good.