Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


In order to be innovative and competitive, the automotive industry seeks to understand how to attract new customers, even before they have experienced the product. User Experience (UX) research often provides insights into situated uses of products, and reflections after their use, however tells us little about how products and services are experienced before use. We propose anticipation theory as a way to understand how shared experiences between people in an online discussion forum relate to UX of cars before they are actually experienced in real-life. We took an ethnographic approach to analyse the activities of members of a self-organised web-based discussion forum for Tesla car enthusiasts, to understand how product anticipation emerges in a digital-material setting. Our study identifies how anticipatory experiences create UX of car ownership which evolves through members’ engagement in a self-organised online community enabled through the digitalisation and connectivity of the car, and how such car experiences generate new forms of digital anticipation of the car. We conclude that the shift towards digitalisation of cars and subscription services creates a need for more interdisciplinary research into spatial and temporal aspects, where socially shared anticipatory experiences are increasingly important for the overall UX.