The Most Overlooked Aspect Of UX Design Could Be The Most Important
There are many things to consider in UX design when creating the perfect user experience. From functionality and aesthetics to usability and accessibility, it can […]
There are many things to consider in UX design when creating the perfect user experience. From functionality and aesthetics to usability and accessibility, it can be hard to know where to focus your efforts. However, one aspect of UX design is often overlooked, even though it could be the most important; empty state.
When a user arrives at an empty state—a screen with no content—it can be a jarring experience. After all, why would they expect to see a blank screen? Empty states present a valuable opportunity for designers to guide users through their experience and promote engagement. In this blog post, we’ll explore the role of empty states in UX design and how to create effective ones.
What Is An Empty State?
An empty state is a screen that appears when there is no data to display. It usually contains a message explaining why the screen is blank and what the user can do next. Empty states are often found in applications and websites, serving as placeholders until content is generated or loaded.
While empty states may seem like small details, they play a crucial role in the user experience. They can grab attention, convey personality, and even surprise users. Heres everything you need to know about empty states in UX design.
Why Are Empty States Important?
Empty states are important because they allow designers to control the user experience. By designing an effective empty state, designers can influence how users interact with their app or website. Additionally, empty states can promote engagement by providing users with useful information or helpful next steps.
How To Use Empty States?
Empty states are most commonly used to communicate that something is happening behind the scenes or that the user needs to take action before content can be displayed. For example, an empty state might appear while data is being loaded from a server or after a user completes an action (e.g., signing up for an account).
In some cases, empty states can also be used proactively to prevent errors. For example, if a user tries to access content that doesnt exist (e.g., a broken link), an empty state can be used to let them know theres nothing there instead of displaying an error message.
How To Design Effective Empty States?
There are four key elements to consider when designing effective empty states:
An effective empty state should use positive reinforcement to encourage users to take action. This can be done through copywriting, such as using phrases like Good work! or Keep up the good work!. Additionally, this can be accomplished through visual elements, such as icons or illustrations that show progress or success.
Be Clear And Concise
An effective empty state should be clear and concise in its messaging. The copy should be direct and easy to understand so that users know what actions they can take next. Additionally, the design should be uncluttered so as not to overwhelm users with too much information at once.
Use Actionable Language
An effective empty state should use actionable language so that users know what to do to find the data they are looking for. For example, if a user is looking for information on a specific topic, the copy could say, Search for . Or, if a user needs to fill out a form, the copy could say Complete
“. Actionable language helps guide users toward specific actions, making it more likely that they will find the data they need.
Use Rich Visuals
An effective empty state should use rich visuals so users know what actions to take to find the data they want. Rich visuals could include icons, illustrations, photos, or videos. These visuals should be placed prominently on the page so that users cannot miss them. Additionally, these visuals should be relevant to the task at hand so that users know how to best complete their goal.
Empty states provide an important opportunity for designers to help guide users on what actions to take next. When designing your empty states, keep in mind four key elements: positive reinforcement, clarity and conciseness, actionable language, and rich visuals. By following these guidelines, you can design effective empty states that improve the overall user experience of your website or application.
Benefits Of Empty States
There are several benefits of using empty states in your designs:
They can help reduce errors by providing helpful messages instead of displaying raw data.
They can improve the overall aesthetics of your design by providing visual interest when data is not present.
They can make your design feel more polished and complete by accounting for all possible scenarios (i.e., what happens when theres no data?).
What Should You Keep In Mind While Designing Empty State
When designing an empty state, there are several things you should keep in mind:
The purpose of the empty state What are you trying to communicate with the empty state? This will determine the tone and style of the empty state and the information it contains.
The audience Who will see the empty state? This will influence the language you use and the level of detail you provide.
The timeframe How long will users see the empty state? This will determine how much information you need to include and how noticeable it should be.
Tips And Tricks
Working Brand Personality Into Empty States
One way to make empty states more memorable (and therefore more effective) is to infuse them with your brands personality. This could involve using playful or formal language and imagery, whatever best represents your brand and speaks to your target audience.
For example, Slacks 404 error page features a friendly cartoon bot and some lighthearted copy: It looks like youre trying here, but we couldnt find that channel. This reflects Slacks fun and casual brand personality while providing helpful information (i.e., where users can go for help).
Similarly, Airbnbs 404 page features a soothing image of waves crashing against rocks and a copy that reassures users they will find what theyre looking for: Were sorry, but something went wrong. This reflects Airbnbs calming and trustworthy brand personality while remaining helpful and informative.
Use Emotions To Convey Relevancy
Another way to make empty states more engaging is to use emotions when conveying the pages purpose. This could involve using imagery, copy, or both to draw users in and make them more likely to take action.
For example, the empty state on Codecademy uses emotive imagery to convey the importance of saving progress and the steps users can take: Your progress is not saved. Save your progress. This visual and copy combination helps to create a sense of urgency while highlighting the actions users need to take to resolve the problem and continue their learning journey.
So, now that you have got an overview of the most overlooked aspect of UX Design, its time to take action. Whether you are a professional designer needing additional support or simply looking to improve the quality of your work, services like Workdo are the ideal choice. Such professionals offer an easy-to-use platform and expert UX design services to take your designs to the next level and create digital products that your audience will love.