Reaction to digital product appearances are fast, unconscious and will affect the way users engage with it. In this article we will share ways to ensure your product provides a great first impression.
1) Do not reinvent the wheel… unless your users expect you to do so...
Patterns and signifiers are established trends. Some of the classic patterns in place are the account manager in upper-right corner, search field with magnifying glass, underlined links... When users are accustomed to using a pattern, even a minor change in that pattern can create friction in your processes. It does not mean that you can’t change any existing pattern in your industry. You can make them more efficient and very different but keep in mind that your user expect a standard behavior based on the shared features you share with competitors in a market. Any vital function should not be hidden.
Inject some personality
Most of the successful digital product were launched in an already existing market. People don’t want something truly new, they want the familiar done differently. Let’s take the famous example of the California roll : the California roll introduced Americans to sushi by using familiar ingredients arranged in a new way. That concept can impact the whole digital product but also every single piece of it : UX, UI, Interactions… Pay attention to details (white space, typography, colors) give your brand a strong personality, hire a good illustrator : this will help your product convert more and create a connection with your users. Do not use stock images except for low-impact visual elements (sometimes budget or timeline are tight but do your best to remain creative and inject personality…). Stock images make your brand look cheap, impersonal. oh and don't forget to use a huge amount of white space.
2) Contrast and colors
Contrast won in aesthetics
Again, less focus on trendy colors palette and more focus on contrasts and negative space. Negative space will make your Call To Action stand. When done well, contrasts will make a big conversional and aesthetic difference.
Balance your colors with the 60–30–10 Rule
This decorating rule that can help you create a good color combination and balance for your product. 60% is your dominant hue, 30% is the secondary color and 10% is the accent color. The 10% is the color that stands out, the accent color that you will use for your CTAs in big white space.
In the first point of this article, we mentioned the important role of patterns and signifiers. Consistency means creating your own repeated patterns within your product, making user’s experience great and especially uninterrupted. Invest time to create a design system with the exact same properties repeated on every corner of your product. Most of the user will leave a process if they face elements they don’t understand, design system allow to remove friction and increase conversion opportunities.
4) Proper navigation
There is no golden rule for navigation. One thing is sure : product that convert have adapted navigation to their goals. A landing page with one unique call-to-action will tend to hide navbar or any additional navigation element. Ecommerce website have expanded navigations to help you browse a wide range of product and make sure you can find what you are looking for as easy as possible - and make sure you also have a look to related products. User will appreciate a clean, spacious and accurate navigation. Make sure to spend enough time testing and iterating with navigation, they will definitely help you to convert more.
5) A multi-devices layout
Make sure your layout is correctly prepared and tested for a large range of devices. For some reason a CTA can turn transparent in iOS and unclickable in firefox for Android… I will also advocate for CTAs placed on the upper part of the page, especially for mobile devices. Mobile use is quite different that desktop browsing. Attention and reading are superior than when using desktop but when performing a task, mobile user want immediate actions and feedback. Make a clear hierarchy of the action you want your user to achieve and try to adapt accordingly to the devices. Keep in mind that mobile actions have to go fast. This leads us to our next point : performance !
6) Performance optimization
Yet another invisible item (alongside with white spaces) that will make your digital product look great ! Product that perform fast are attractive. It’s as simple as that. Your user want tasks to be done fast, all the design implementation should consider performance as a key factor. This will make you more creative. Do you really need to use images when this could be achieve with cool illustration - adding value to your brand and reducing the performance cost ? Refactor your CSS and JS, Split styles (base and modules setup) and scripts into separate files, focusing on the loading speed of the upper part of your page… Keep in mind that performance is your ally for good conversion rates if you give it enough attention, otherwise it could be your invisible enemy.
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