A catchy headline or a great graphic may attract users to your website or app, but then it’s up to the user experience to keep them engaged. And usually, it’s also the user experience that determines whether they will return.
Is your user experience driving engagement or sending users away? Often, it’s the obvious things that make the biggest difference, the ones that are so easy to neglect.
In this post, we will look at some of the most common problems that lower user engagement. Discover what they are and learn how to fix them to boost UX engagement and make users happy.
The human brain reacts differently to different colors. While the color yellow, for example, attracts attention and promotes optimism, blue tends to be a more balanced color that conjures a sense of calm. By contrast, more neutral coloring may fail to evoke a definitive emotion in your audience.
Any discrepancy between the tone and message of the content and the colors in the design could lead to a lower engagement level. It could make users feel lukewarm about what you are offering them. In other words, a simple way to improve UX engagement is to let the psychology of colors inspire your designs.
Focus especially on the background colors for the content and the colors of the fixed design elements such as the navigational menu. Also important is the color combination that first greets users. Is it too loud or too quiet?
Aligning your color scheme to your message is crucial to creating an engaging user experience. It sends a favorable unconscious cue to new users and conjures positive emotions in returning ones.
Big, colourful buttons have become an essential element of many successful designs. They immediately grab attention and encourage users to act. Turning links and calls to action into enticing buttons can boost not only engagement but also conversions, while also making your message clearer.
Of course, buttons shouldn’t be too large. The ideal size for buttons is large enough to stand out but not too large to encroach on the content. If you are aiming for a mobile-friendly design, optimize the buttons for tapping.
Boost UX engagement by replacing unappealing buttons with bigger, nicer ones. And, when it comes naturally, use call to action buttons.
Probably the simplest way to improve UX engagement is to improve performance. Whether we are talking about a website or an app, the speed of the user interface will be a key determiner of the success of your design.
Each time users have to wait for something to load, their engagement tends to drop. The more they have to wait, the less likely they are that they will want to explore all the content you are offering them.
In the age of short attention spans and content overload, users don’t have any time to lose on slow user interfaces.
One of the best ways to improve performance is to invest in better coding, use caching plugins, and optimize graphics. Also, break down long-form content, such as an extensive list, into multiple pages. Constantly revising your design and rating its performance will help you ensure that it runs smoothly and promotes a healthy user engagement level.
This simple problem is an old one, and you’d think that there’s no point in repeating it. Yet many websites, apps, and systems across the web continue to be plagued by it. Broken links are often a natural consequence of growth. When a site or app keeps growing and growing, broken links become unavoidable.
Few UX problems are worse than a broken link. Whether it’s a simple resource link or a call to action link, a link that doesn’t work is more than a cause of frustration – it’s the perfect excuse for users to leave and never come back.
Most broken links on websites lead to the infamous 404 error. Creating a fun or playful page instead of the default page for this error is a great way to overcome this hiccup and keep visitors on your site for longer. You may also want to monitor your internal linking system to identify broken links before they become a nuisance.
A slow or clumsy navigation is often the main barrier to user engagement. Browsing a website or using an app should be as smooth as walking through a shop where every item is neatly labelled and easy to grab. Yet creating that experience is not always easy.
An intuitive design with an accessible menu definitely helps. But often, it’s not enough. What users really need is effective anchor links that enable them to jump from one page to another and find the information they need with a simple click.
Even if you have a search bar, anchor links can make everything so much easier for your audience. It invites them to explore more of your content and helps them find their way around it with ease. Have you considered using tables of contents and an effective internal lining system to simplify navigation and increase UX engagement?
Streamlining your navigation doesn’t have to call for a redesign. Rather, consider each separate design element and whether it can be removed. Anything that doesn’t serve a functional purpose could get in the way of the user engagement – you may want to do away with it. Following from this, here’s how Thence helped Golden Pi boost its users and revenue by transforming their UX.
Low engagement and a poor visual presentation of your content often go hand in hand. Users need white space to feel comfortable reading or viewing your content. At the same time, they need headlines that aid navigation and help them take in the information that’s presented to them.
But sometimes, it’s the visual content itself that bombards users with information. Content overload can be a serious problem. One chart after another or two complex graphs in quick succession can be just as bad as a wall of unformatted text.
Improving the visual presentation of your content is one of the best UX engagement fixes for both websites and apps. It can also be quick and inexpensive to pull off, as you don’t need to make any significant changes to your interface. What you have to do is simply rearrange your design to create more white space and to use headlines, lists, and other pointers to guide the eye.
It happens all the time:a video, slideshow, or presentation tempts you with a big Play button, but then the moment you click on it, you are redirected to an external website. This may work for newsletters and other marketing content that uses landing pages to generate leads, but on an actual website or in an app, it can ruin engagement.
It may not always be possible to embed videos and other multimedia content on your page or in your app. But when you can do it, you’re making everything easier for users as they can access the content much faster.
Embedding content into your site takes more time and more storage space than just copy-pasting a link. But it’s simply one of the best UX fixes you can make to boost user engagement. It makes information readily accessible, and that’s crucial to creating an engaging user experience.
As the UX engagement tips above suggest, to keep users happy and engaged you need to focus on usability and accessibility. If your design is smooth and features a simple navigation, users will naturally be drawn to it.
Simple improvements like designing bigger buttons, fixing broken links, and formatting your content better also help. These can make the user experience so much more enjoyable.
Lastly, discard inessential design elements that distract users from the information you are offering them. This may include sidebars, widgets, and intrusive ad placements. Ask yourself how will the design look on mobile. Anything that comes in between the content and the user will usually have a negative impact on engagement levels.
Are you looking for even more UX design tips for boosting user engagement? Talk to our UX consultant today to understand how your User Experience can deliver to delight.
About the Author
Vinumon S, Founder & Managing Director, Thence (WinkTales)
Vinumon holds a PGDM from IIM Calcutta and has over 10 years of experience spanning Business Development, Finance, Corporate Strategy & Operations. He loves to write on User Experience design, leadership and business streamlining.