Some minor but powerful UX things

November 4, 2020
Mai Anh

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User Experience (UX) become more and more important nowadays. Maybe you will want to read more about an old but famous story about one single $300 Million Button. Or another so sad story about Alexander E. Kearns, a 20-year-old customer dies by suicide after seeing a $730,000 negative balance. With the revolution of hardware infrastructure and frontend technologies, this is the time when we highly need to consider UX carefully.

Unfortunately, unlike in programming where we have true or false, there is nothing that will be definitely true in UX. The border between good and bad UX is blurry. Other than that, good UX is like a long journey, not built by a single beautiful animation. So if you need the best and comprehensive guideline about UX, maybe “Don’t make me think” should be the best reference. This book should be the start for both UX designers and product designers.

In this article, my scope is only one small piece of UX: some minor but has great impacts in UX for the first time users visit the website.

Minor but powerful things in website UX

CTA

CTA
CTA example

Based on the website’s purpose, we have some different kinds of CTAs. I have tried to tell you how it’s important in my previous article. Impressive CTA is the shortest way to keep your user.

Loading

loading
Loading example

Loading animation (or just even an icon) is a popular way to tell users that they need to wait for something.

We do not actually need a fancy loading animation for sure!

There are two main reasons for loading icon or animation:
Responsibility: as long as users receive the response from the website, it is good to go.
Reasonability: even users do not understand what they are waiting for, but at least, they know they should wait.

Of course, it does not mean we need to use loading every time. This is a great article about when to use loading for a good UX.

Google recently has updated some new metrics are called “Core Web Vitals” to evaluate the UX. There is one interesting metric is CLS which stands for Cumulative Layout Shift.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is an important, user-centric metric for measuring visual stability because it helps quantify how often users experience unexpected layout shifts—a low CLS helps ensure that the page is delightful.

You can see an example from the above site that causes real damage. A loading even ugly is still better.

Onboarding process

Example onboarding
Example onboarding

The user onboarding process is crucial especially if the website acts as an online application like Gmail, Dropbox, Facebook. Lincoln Murphy has written a great article about how user onboarding is important. There are some notable real case studies like 21% of Users Abandon an App After One Use or 75% drop-off usage at Appcues.

Unlike CTA where users do not even need to understand the whole process to achieve something, the onboarding process is a light guide for them. They will get the sense in order to use the website, find the value they need for their purpose.

Designing a good onboarding flow is depended on what kind of your website, how you understand your users and many other things. This is an excellent guide about user onboarding process that I definitely recommend you should take a look.

Exit-Intent Popups

Example purpose for exit-intent popup
Example purpose for exit-intent popup

Almost people hate popup include me. But there is a kind of popup that can be great is “exit-intent popup”. It is showed whenever you try to close the current browser tab.

This is a wonderful way to catch user intention up. And if you use it correctly, you will have a good chance to keep users back. It likes the last chance for you to change the user mind where maybe the remaining UX is not even good. Unlike the normal popups made a bad experience where it shows at the time users do not want, you should leverage this kind of popup, especially for the first time users.

Here is a comprehensive guide about ten ways to use exit-intent popups by Nielsen Norman Group and some tips to increase conversion with exit-intent popup.


TLDR

Not only for the new startup but also for currently running websites, there are some small but powerful methods to improve the UX in order to increase conversion, revenue:
– CTA is the shortest way to drive users to your desired flow.
– Use loading wisely to keep user’s sympathies.
– Onboarding process is crucial, especially for application-like websites.
– Leverage exit-intent popups to keep the user when they are going to leave.

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