The goldfish is ahead of the human being – at least as far as his attention is concerned. Thanks to modern media use, our human attention span is now limited to 8 seconds. That’s a whole second less than the 9-seconds of the shiny fish.

What does this mean for the UX design?

Content must be relevant for the user, above all through personalization and accessibility across devices. Because the user and his or her needs are always in the focus of UX design – and the entire team must always be aware of this. The design of the future, however, should even go one step further as was made clear at the ux-congress in Frankfurt am Main: Platforms should not only be tailored to the user personally, but also predictive. The designer must therefore foresee what the user is doing and wants to do, and display the corresponding content before the “click”.

Set high: The “GAFA” bar

How can an UX designer anticipate users’ expectations? Of course, there are the classic methods: user surveys, fast, continuous testing with A/B and user tests and a good error culture. These lead to relevant and good results and increase the target group’s acceptance. What today’s users expect, however, can also be seen on a specific bar: Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (“GAFA”). The expectations of a website and its services are designed by these four companies, the users expect similar results and patterns. So if the UX designer observes what the “Big 4” do, he can develop a feeling for the users’ expectations.

So we have another reason to give Facebook and its kind our scarce but precious attention and to constantly learn from Apple, Amazon & Co.