Anticipatory Designs – A Road To User Behaviour

Introducing Anticipations:

It’s been since ages that I have not seen some big concept which has totally impacted the technology ecosystem. But off lately, there seems a very exciting concept with a promising potential – Anticipatory Systems which of course comes into existence when there is a perfect blend of anticipated designs with technology.

It is actually about the fact that decisions are made on behalf of the user, for the user.

These glimmering anticipated systems come in various forms starting from check-in services to calendar apps, online personal services to advertising services. Also instead of waiting for us to tell them what we want from them, they prompt us with their suggestions.

Let’s see how Anticipated Designs came into existence:

Over Demanding Choices:

Decision fatigue

Paradox of choices have left us muddle headed. Choices are overrated. Of course technology and internet have been a boon to mankind and times are now such that round the clock we can get delivered everything on our doorstep with just a few simple taps and touches as we sit on our couches in our houses. Internet has given us a bundle of information on which we can make thousands of choices which results in approximately 25,000 decisions in a day.

From diet to finances, from career to fitness – people tend to make bad decisions everyday. recent study reveals that people are suffering from this thing called ‘decision fatigue’. It is a phenomenon where if we decide over a lot of things over the course of day, our decision making ability hampers which unfortunately yields in less calculated decision and hence less fruitful decisions.

Anticipation Was Always Around:

Long before when Siri, Cortana, there was a time of Clippy which can detect the basic intentions of users and respond with helping offer. There was a time when we used to get pop-ups, alert boxes and in-app notifications which are triggered in order to prevent something from happening in the future or to invite a user to make something else happen based on past behaviour. Such events are based on simple concept where if users do A, then show them B. The aim of anticipatory design science was to make a more sophisticated goal of making user’s tasks remarkably simpler and analyze the behaviour pattern simpler. Yes, more work for technologists and less work for users.

Anticipatory Design Science – Whys, Whats, Hows:


Not only did the technology revolutionize the way we have been living our life and running our businesses, but it has terribly reduced the stress of making varied decisions from infinite choices. In every domain and in every sphere, the digital designs have removed the middlemen and given users the control. These magnanimous digital designs have made things fast and easy for us where we have complete control over things. Despite these beautiful objectified designs we are lagging behind in our ultimate goal of simplifying lives with the help of these designs. We must aim at minimizing user’s effort and hence the best interface would be no interface. The users would be more than happy where “No Me” concept prevails (in terms of effort but of course based on mypreference and goals).


It’s now high time to bring the painless logic to the way users interact within the framework and within system. It has now been realised by the designers and developers that if we ask users to complete a task more than once within any given process, it is going to yield into an inefficient use of user’s time. And isn’t it a repetitive action of asking a user to perform similar action when you have collected the necessary information in the past?

People who are engaged in user experience design must understand the concept of cognitive load which explains that it is a mount of mental effort used by any working memory at any given time. When you are aiming to minimize the user’s effort of course not in terms of their expectations and preferences, then reducing cognitive load becomes an imperative step while you are in the process of creating unmatchable Anticipatory UI / UX design experience and here we would specifically say Anticipatory Design. Reduction of Cognitive Load would result in creating more pleasurable user experience.

Traditional Designs allows user interaction by holding, touching or swiping. The stuff happens when these interactions occur. Anticipatory design science deals in behaving intuitively, speculatively and hence not based on any input or instruction.

Anticipatory Designs advocates that user will not be participating in the decision making process and henceforth the decisions are made and executed on behalf of users (of course the decisions will be user preferred choice). Anticipatory Design Science can be understood a bit differently in comparison to traditional design functionality. The goal is to not allow the user to make decisions. The decision just happens automatically without a user input. Some repetitive steps are removed. With more precision, data gets captured via a keen look at prior user behaviour and business logic which triggers instances automatically.

An Example:
Anticipatory Design can be more clearly understood with this example, rather than giving the user an option of movie shows, seat location, time, the more wise and anticipated approach is to automatically monitor the user’s calendar and book a movie ticket during weekends or holiday where a family holiday has been marked. The price, seat availability and show timing and snacks choices can be electronically communicated based on the user’s prior behaviour of choices and selections and previous choices made.

It should be remembered that the anticipation is always based on the prior behaviour of user and prior knowledge and data is captured hence initially user is asked for feedback on the book made (before and after), but once the user become used to of this framework the powerful set of functionality gets performed and hence a step by step interaction is not needed.

Nest – the Internet-enabled thermometer & Google Now – the digital assistant are some great examples of Anticipatory Designs. Since, there are many leading companies who are taking baby steps in this ecosystem, but this is going to create a complete new world of lavish anticipatory UI/UX design.


If you are planning to offer your user an effortless anticipatory UI/UX design experience then certainly you have to strategize the complete process very specifically, data must be keenly collected, analyzed and then repacked thereby making predetermined selections:

  • Dramatically reshaping the superfluous data whereinternet is flowing and placing the devices wisely enough where user can interact with the system.
  • Unifying different streams of data provides lot of useful information and thus helps in better decision making. Information needs to be more meaningfully aggregated.
  • Information requires some processing whereby you cannot ignore certain crucial steps like collection (very obvious), unifying it, analyzing it and thoroughly implementing.


Conclusively, we can say that Anticipatory Design has already taken a special place in the UI/UX arena, more and more companies are moving at faster pace in order to maximize their user base. Incorporating such exclusive user experience with your mobile application will surely take it to next higher level. You need to know your audience better, without annoying them. Keep anticipating with user behaviour strategies and stay tuned with their intentions, actions and thought processes. There is a lot to learn(Basics of UX Designing), and there is a long road ahead. But all you need is to design one step ahead!

Article Resources:,,

2 thoughts on “Anticipatory Designs – A Road To User Behaviour

  1. Pingback: 5 Latest Web Designing Trends | Mobile App Ninjas

  2. Pingback: Google Material Design – Redefining The Finer Details Of Mobile Apps | Mobile App Ninjas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s