Is instant IT gratification raising user expectations to an unachievable level?

It always amazes me when I press the genius button on my iPod and an instant play list is created which is perfect for my needs, it rarely disappoints! Is it possible that my iPod knows my music library better than I do? Absolutely it does, don’t ask me how but it is damn clever.

Surely this level of functionality is a good thing I hear you shout? Well in theory it is, but we can’t overlook the effect that this and similar functionality has in raising user expectations of all the tools and services they use.

This manifested itself most recently during a round of workshops we ran for an intranet design project. I was amazed at the technical literacy of the employees involved and it became very clear that users are no longer satisfied with the status quo. Their understanding of the ‘art of the possible’ has grown exponentially and I regularly hear users say  “just make it work like Google.”

As expectations rise our job as user experience designers gets harder but it sure is getting interesting..

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