Minimalism with a Twist in UX

The term ‘Minimalist’ brings clean white spaces with no single-use appliances or functionless decorations. This doesn’t mean, however, that to achieve minimalism in design, we must strip a website or software of all but the barest of functions. Instead, UX minimalism focuses on simplifying complex processes into a more accessible and better processes, making better apps, webpages, and systems.

When incorporating minimalism in design, the goal is to eliminate unnecessary functions while conveying the intended message concisely.

What is Minimalism in UX Design?


With Big Tech companies like Apple and Google trailblazing minimalist websites, minimalism has become an influential contributor to the overall user experience. Synonymous with exclusivity, minimalism also has the advantage of faster loading times and good compatibility on both small and large screens.
As with all UX design, minimalism focuses on maximizing user-friendly traits. But what sets the minimalistic approach apart from other techniques? As highlighted by Darya Tronsco, minimalism keeps the basic components of a system as simple as possible, allowing the user to interact without the direction or experience needed to deal with cluttered interfaces.

Why use Minimalism?

Aside from projecting a polished and exclusive company image, minimalist websites selling a product have an advantage over competitors. There is no better approach than minimalism for highlighting products, as there is nothing on the page to distract the consumer’s attention.

Minimalism doesn’t only work by emphasizing a product; it also refines it. As UX designers, there is a temptation to include additional, superfluous elements to improve user design, which has the opposite effect. Minimalist UX Design involves relentlessly culling inessential components, which can be challenging to do with our work.

To help with this, we’ve included a list of five essential features of Minimalist UX design, compiled by Amlan Sarkar:

  1. Quick-loading Interface because fewer components make websites more responsive.
  2. Increased SEO makes the layout easier for search engines to comb and index.
  3. Less maintenance because the interface is less complex, and bugs are easier to fix.
  4. Simplicity, which is classy and enhances accessibility.
  5. Meaningful content ensures all features have a purpose and facilitates easy navigation.

If these characteristics are applied to a project well, the resulting system is sophisticated, accessible, and a pleasure to use.

Achieving Minimalist Designs with Examples

The overarching question every designer should be asking themselves when creating a minimalist website is simple:
But even knowing this question, how do we achieve this?

Achieving a minimalist design takes a lot of work, and we can’t replicate that clean website design just by removing components. To help, we’ve detailed a few research-driven techniques below:

Hick’s Law

This law was discovered in 1952 by American psychologists William Hick and Ray Hyman and stated that the time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of the available choices. When applying this law to minimalist design, it makes sense that giving users fewer choices in the form of more periodic functions will improve the overall user experience.  Customers who find a website too difficult to navigate will look elsewhere.

A great example of this is Google’s search page:

The center of Google’s search page is a search bar and two buttons. The choice is easy, creates positive user experiences, and helps make Google the leading search engine worldwide.

Whitespace

The negative space between content is called whitespace. Whitespace is essential to achieving a minimalist design because it highlights the important part of the system or page. Take Apple’s Apple Store Online page, for example:

The generous amount of whitespace emphasizes the page's important part: the Apple products on sale. This focuses the user on the product while maintaining the clean, sleek design typical of Apple.

Color and Typography

Minimalist typography involves choosing textual elements that create open, airy, and highly legible lettering. Generally, these simple letterforms have fewer curves and give the page a more modern appearance. Colour is also critical to minimalist designs, with most designers leaning towards grey, black, and white to provide a clean appearance.

Samsung’s UK website uses dramatic, white typography that doesn’t distract from the overall image. The color of the lettering matches the elements of the picture, and the size draws the eye without taking over.

Flat Design

This technique keeps everything from fonts to images as essential as possible, giving the system an aesthetically pleasing, functional look. The Winter Games Olympic Story website is an excellent example of flat design.

Everything from the black and white background to the single pop of color in the date makes this website easy to understand and navigate. The eye is drawn to two options: the hamburger menu or the Winter games button.

Visual Elements

Visual elements refer to site images, icons, or graphic illustrations. They are accessible to everyone and convey more information in a short time. However, in minimalist designs, there is a risk of pictures taking over the page and making any other minimalist choices redundant. One way of getting around this is using grayscale images or images with simple color palettes. A website that successfully uses color with a minimalist design in mind is Ikea:

Ikea’s UK homepage uses yellow in all images, which links back to their logo while giving the media a cohesive look. This maintains a minimalist, Scandinavian feel without sacrificing the joy in their products.

Minimalism in UX - Keep it Simple

The proof is in the webpage, Minimalism works. With the front runners in technology all using minimalist website designs, it is only a matter of time before maximalist web pages are a thing of the past.

Making a minimalist product as a UX designer is not easy, but our UX experts are always here to advise if needed. Get in touch to learn more about creating great, minimalist sites - we’d love to hear from you.

 


5 Ways to Improve the UX of your application

Application design is one of the most significant fields of endeavor in modern technology. Individuals, small teams, and large corporate entities are all working to produce apps that solve problems and create innovative solutions in various fields.

Ever since Apple launched the iPhone, people have been working together to maximize the potential of mobile apps and technology. As a result, every week, we can see more exciting ideas hit the app stores. So, how can we keep improving? How can we continue to make new and exciting UX choices in the applications we create? Let’s take a look at some valuable tips.

1. Stop using long tutorials and lengthy feature explainers.

Your app needs to be easy-to-use and intuitive. We’ll give you a hint; it needs to be simple if an app is helpful on a smartphone screen. If you need to use a lengthy tour of features to familiarize your user with the app, you’ve likely tried to shove too much in the way of features into this release. Users are likely to be fatigued by pop-ups telling them what to do, and they’re likely to disengage if your key elements are not as intuitive. There are benefits to using industry-standard designs and concepts. One of the main benefits is that tech-savvy users will instantly know how your app works.

In general, users won’t mind growing with your app throughout multiple releases, but they will be unlikely to read incredibly long tutorials over and over again. It is important to instantly capture your user’s attention and make your new features as intuitive as mobile apps.

2. Review your user requests.

It can be tempting to publish new releases without talking to users when you have a tight timeline. But this is a common mistake that leads to a diminishing user base, poor reviews, and practical issues. Luckily this mistake is easy to fix: review your user requests. This is easy to do for most app development teams. Firstly, get your hands on your users’ data to your support teams. You can quickly identify which features your users want and what their frustrations are. And that should be it, right?

Hold on a second!

Mostly, those people who contact support are those who have had frustrations. What about 99% (or more) of your users who’ve never spoken to support? Indeed, you’d rather keep on making them happy rather than devote your time to keeping the 1% who use support happy? Well, if you want to improve the UX of your app, you’ll have to do both. You still have to talk to your users even if you think you know what they want. Inevitably, their experience and your knowledge will combine to create a better version of your app.

3. Make the most of the hardware and screen technology.

When people spend more than a month’s wages on a smartphone, they want you to use all the bells and whistles of their phone. One of the easiest ways to improve the UX of your app is to understand the hardware on which it is being used and optimize the app accordingly.

For example, there’s no excuse for skimping on retina display-ready content. Your UX can be enhanced by matching and exceeding people’s expectations. This means you have to be aware of the features available on the new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel. Then it would help if you tailored the UI and UX of your app to ensure that you maximize the potential of the hardware and make the most of the touchscreen technology.

4. Keep it as simple as possible.

Strip out everything you don’t need, and give your users a straightforward and streamlined journey. Even if you have a solid UX base, you can confuse and eventually lose users with the content you include. Make sure you are only including new features and content if they enhance the way your users can use your app. If in doubt, throw it out! And stick with the primary, most usable, and most intuitive features.

5. Keep notifications to a minimum.

You don’t want your app to be the cause of constant noise. Incessant notifications can quickly become annoying and cause users to delete your app altogether.  Keep your notifications to a minimum. This is particularly true if your notifications aren’t that important. Users don’t need to know about every minor change or update. If they are curious, they will find out for themselves, and they will appreciate an app that isn’t constantly poking them.

At Radiant, we understand the value of intuitive, modern, and considerate design for UX. Hopefully, these five simple tips will help you refine the UX for your app so that you can create the next big app on the market.

How can you improve the UX of your application while staying true to its original purpose? To learn more about UX design and effective digital transformation, contact our experts.


Why UX Matters in the Customer-Centric Digital Economy

Many companies focus on innovation and better ways to represent themselves through their product designs to stay relevant and competitive. UX design is the primary ingredient in the secret recipe to exceptional customer service delivery. According to Win the Customer:

  • 86% of customers would pay more for a better product experience.
  • 89% switch to a competitor because of a bad customer experience with a business.
  • 73% said friendly customer service made them trust a brand entirely.

This proves that UX design is pivotal to any strong marketing strategy that helps prioritize and build customer-oriented products. This blog dives deep into why UX matters. It also covers the ‘Why,’ ‘What,’ and ‘How’ of UX Design.

UX Design Definition

UX design is the process design teams use to craft products that offer meaningful and relevant user experiences. This includes designing how the product is acquired, integrated, represented & branded, and its functionalities. It includes enhancing a product’s user satisfaction by improving its usability, accessibility, and interaction quality. UX design usually needs consideration for the following aspects:

  1. Product Packaging
  2. Content
  3. User-friendliness and ease-of-use
  4. Multi-platform and multi-device support

What’s the Goal?

A well-planned and targeted UX design makes interactions more engaging while guiding the user organically to the desired action. Great design amplifies the value it delivers through user experience and directs the intended users towards a product goal. Thus, UX is not just a design layer but also a mediator between what you offer and what customers will experience. It can help retain customers provided it is straightforward, intuitive, engaging, and responsive to a wide range of users.

Why is UX a Key Differentiator?

Companies need to carefully consider their customers’ attention demands in the current competitive climate and deliberately focus on UX optimization. A top-notch and sales-inducing UX design is a crucial differentiator in a landscape where ease-of-use, reliability, and usefulness are top customer priority.

Still not convinced? Here are the top benefits of effectively leveraging UX design for your business.

Improved Conversion Rates: UX design influences higher screen time, improved retention, and customer call to action. This translates into better conversion rates and higher ROI when customer interactions with a design are less complex and faster.

Higher SEO Rankings: UX design goes hand-in-hand with content on a website. Search engines are built in a UX-quotient sensitive way. A UX design should include SEO-optimized content that would provide a higher ranking for the website on SERP pages with minimal effort. Google SERP shows a higher preference for sites that offer an excellent user experience. Optimizing the UX quality of your design will enhance your company’s ranking on search engines.

Enhanced Customer Loyalty: A UX design is as good as the experience it offers. A good UX design should let customers explore your website without limitations and complex interactions. UX designers must provide a cohesive set of experiences to improve the customer lifetime value by understanding the customers’ psychological tendencies. Customers stick to brands with UX designs that are positive, familiar, and comfortable.

Boosts Cost Savings: UX design involves careful and extensive user research, wireframing, information architecture mapping, prototyping, implementation, testing, and deployment. The entire process involves costs at different levels. While building a functional UX design, you can accurately estimate the costs involved and the potential ROI of the product. A good UX that has been thoroughly tested for errors, usability, and resource consumption can avoid additional expenses you may have incurred otherwise.

Edge over Competitors: UX designers must engage in UX research to better understand how customers use your product and which actions are essential to them. This lets you tailor digital experiences that appeal to target customers. Your UX design should be equipped to guide users along the desired path while enhancing the experience. This can be a crucial asset that differentiates you from competitors.

Elements of an Ideal UX Design

Great UX is built of these elements that help foster trust among your users for your products and deliver what they need. You need to map out each of the following elements and optimize your UX design accordingly to deliver the best user experience.

  • This includes building a responsive design that ensures your site is device-agnostic and functions appropriately.
  • An attention-grabbing yet simple design is essential to retain your users. Streamlining your design to make it aesthetically pleasing is essential.
  • Any element (button or a link) on your website should be purposeful and work without glitches, interruptions, or disconnections.
  • Site navigation is crucial since it helps users quickly find what they are looking for rather than guessing what each screen element does.
  • Your UX design must reflect your user's needs and avoid less valuable elements that take up more space or time to load.
  • Your UX design should indicate and increase the value of the product it represents.

UX as a part of your Marketing Strategy

UX is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy guided by these 4P’s and 4C’s model tenets.

Product: UX design influences how well a product would function and perform in the market.

Price: How well a UX design performs and caters to the customers’ requirements will influence your profitability and pricing.

Place: UX designs can be customized or made location-specific to cater to the needs of its users.

Promotion: Most businesses venture on promotions to provide their branding message and increase product awareness and sales. UX designs offer the first point of customer contact and can be valuable during promotions to increase your customer base.

UX design can also be used to support the customer-oriented 4 C’s Model 

Customer: Customers should be the focal point of a UX design. The ability to engage and retain customers through universal appeal is essential for any UX designer.

Convenience: Along with powerful performance, a UX design must embody convenience as a fundamental attribute. The user should be able to use a design on the go and at any time during the day. Thus, UX design must be mobile-centric and should work seamlessly on multiple platforms.

Cost to Satisfy: Customers prefer online channels to physical ones. UX design plays a pivotal role in reducing the cost to satisfy customers when designing a digital platform. A minimalistic yet intuitive design supporting a single-point of access can drastically reduce the operating costs.

Communication: A UX design must be robust enough to connect people and to the services they want. Most UI components of your design should be self-explanatory and indicative of their purpose.

Communication elements like tooltips, footnotes, header text, etc., help enhance user interactions.

Why, What, and How of UX Design from a Product Perspective

As a UX designer, you should delve into the Why, What, and How of a product you're designing.

Why: This includes the users' motivations when designing a product, how they perceive and execute a task involved and the views and values that shape why a user would use the product.

What: This addresses the end user's intention of using a product and the functionalities/features they want the product to have.

How: This relates to how each function is designed in an aesthetically pleasing and accessible way.

UX designers start with the 'Why'; then they determine the 'What' and finally, the 'How' to create valuable and meaningful product designs and fluid experiences on any device.

UX design- A Common Ground for Multi-disciplinary Designers

UX design is a multi-disciplinary field that converges the skills of multiple designers in the customer journey. UX designers can have skills that include visual design, programming, interaction design, and psychology. All of these serve a common goal of "customer-centricity." Designing for human needs will need UX designers to improve accessibility and consider physical limitations such as color blindness or small text readability. This a UX designer must perform maximum user research, create personas, design wireframes and prototypes, and test designs. These tasks may vary based on the organization but must prioritize the users' needs. Most UX designers work with a user-centric approach and keep themselves well-informed of the trends and user contexts. This helps them channel their efforts and optimally address user needs and issues. Any user-centric design is iterative, where the process starts with the basic understanding of the user context.

Concluding Thoughts

UX design renders a positive user experience and redefines customer journeys for your business products. Thus, it is paramount to revisit your UX design and measuring its usability as your website evolves. UX design is thus imperative to any successful project. It allows you to take a deep dive into your users’ needs and foster your relationship with them.

Connect with our UX experts at Radiant to learn more!