Don't leave users hanging

Have you ever felt frustrated while using an application trying to figure out what’s next? Maybe you are missing your beloved UI patterns.

Imagine watching your favorite movie on your phone, when suddenly your phone just blacks out because of no charge. Or imagine you going for a long trip with your friends, and right when you reach there you see the hotel is shut down for renovation. You had no idea these situations were gonna happen nor were you prepared for it. These frustrating moments can easily be avoided if you were warned earlier or were equipped for it.

Exactly like these real-life situations, users need to be updated on the process of their actions or the stage they are at. This helps reduce a certain level of uncertainty. This also helps users, not dropping out from your website/app.

“People ignore design that ignores people.

-Frank Chimero, Designer

There are many ways to update your users, intentionally or unintentionally.

Here are a few questions the users might ask while using your app or website. There are solutions to help them answer these questions themselves. Answering these questions is critical as they help the users feel more secure and satisfied while using your product. User-centered design is essential to keep and attract new users for your app or website.

For a user-centered approach for your design, try designing keeping in mind these questions asked by the users;

1. What screen are they viewing now?
Are you able to clearly make your users identify what page they’re looking at? Is the page that they’re actually looking for? The users need to be able to clearly navigate from one screen to another. Also, they need to be able to clearly understand what information does each screen provides to him/her.

Photo credits: Dribble by Aurélien Salomon

2. What's the process I am at? And how many more to go?
Most times during 3 or more onboarding screens or even while filling up a detailed form, the users would like to know how many more actions they need to take so they are prepared for it accordingly. Having indicators can help the users visually understand easily where they stand right now and how many more are left

Photo Credit: Dribble by Vhino for Noansa

3. Have I already taken action? What’s the impact of this action?
Visually being able to see the result for the action is critical for the users to understand the impact. Having a color differentiation or even showing a progress status can help the users understand that they have already taken action. Micro-interactions for actions can help the users understand better. E.g. deleting a file, liking a picture, adding item to the cart, showing coins/points left

Video Credits: Dribble by Aaron Iker

4. Updating the load
There are many ways to do it.
-Infinity looping: having a loop or animation also helps the user forget about the waiting as they’re busy looking at the animation. It creates a positive impact on first-time users.

Video Credits: Dribble by Aaron Iker

-Loading process: Having an actual process update can help the users estimate the time required for the wait. These indicators help the users up-to-date with everything that is happening on screen.

Video Credits: Dribble by YuRi Na

5. To draw attention towards new events in the notifications bar
Having subtle animations help draw the user's attention while they’re on a static screen. Micro-animations can help draw attention to what’s important on the screen which users tend to miss out on. Responsive micro-animation encourages a user to act on your call to action (CTA). That’s a crucial reason for a user to interact more often with your interface.

Video Credits: Dribble by Shakuro

Thanks for spending time reading this article.

Thank you for reading! :)

Hoping you enjoyed this case study. If you have any feedback, I’d like to hear from you. Do drop an email at febamathews530@gmail.com or connect on Linkedin.

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Fizday Design Paper is Literature of Design (UI, UX, Web). A place where Designers Learn, Understand, Think, and Create for Billions of Users

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Febamathews

Febamathews

UI/UX Designer

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