Insight about German user behaviour
If you are looking for it, there is insurance for almost everything in Germany. Germans are famous for over-insuring – being prepared for all worst-case scenarios simply feels good.The same way that Germans make sure nothing bad will happen (or that they are prepared for it), they make sure that they can trust an information or a statement.
In international UX research, you have a good opportunity to compare the reactions to certain elements of a website between users from different countries. After reading the content of many websites, I heard German users say something along the lines of: “Fair enough, but where are the actual numbers?”. In testing, I saw Germans stop reading a text to point out excitedly that there even was a source for the text’s information.
Germans appreciate sources and external proof and they may actually read up on it, too. Also if available, they prefer to be given many facts and numbers. Some German users said they specifically go to a website simply because it is the one that presents the most data. They may appreciate somebody summing it up for them – but ideally they want to (be able to) make sure they would come to the same conclusion.
Users from other countries tend to be more trusting. Germans however want to make sure for themselves that everything is in order. And they also appreciate a qualified expert – because this is a source they can trust. Of course there are individual differences between user groups e.g. based on personal background but it seems to be a general trend for German users.
What this means for you
So what could this mean for your website? If you need to enter the German market, try thinking about which of your claims you can back up by facts. Your product improves efficiency? Do you have a percentage that can illustrate by how much? Or let’s say you need to decide how much info about your product you want to present to your customers. In Germany, without knowing the specifics of the situation, it may be fair to assume that more information would be appreciated. However, to answer questions about individual situations, it is always best to test – with users from the target country!
This blog post was written and submitted by Dr Jennifer Klatt, Senior Accredited UX Researcher