In last week’s 5 Digital Bites, we learned about the increasing application of design to non-design fields like business and government.
A key reason for design’s growing importance is its emphasis on understanding users. So, this week’s 5 Digital Bites will focus on how to do that. We’ve got tips from InVision on how to conduct lean but effective user research. We also hear from webmaster Yaron Schoen on why homogeneity of design might be beneficial for users.
More from digital land: Pros and cons of using hyperlinks in online articles; Creating stories that inspire action; The ideal email marketing frequency
1) No Time or Budget? Here’s How You Conduct Lean UX Research
Want to create a successful and sustainable product? First you must know enough about your target users’ needs and challenges to empathise with them.
But what if you are on a tight timeline and budget? There’s Google search and conducting online surveys of course. InVision has a couple more useful suggestions for conducting lean research on your users:
Guerilla research: Go out, visit places where people will have spare time to help you, and just … ask. This is good for getting feedback on designs and prototypes. Strangers may not know your field but they can point out simple usability issues that you might miss
Remote interviews: Try Erika Hall’s 10-minute interview technique, where the only question you ask is a simple “Walk me through a typical day.”
As a digital marketing agency, we at Construct Digital research prospective buyers to understand their needs too. Here’s how we develop our buyer personas. Need help with your website design? Call us, we can help.
2) Why Homogeneity of Design is Not Always a Bad Thing
Designers are often encouraged to be creative and come up with unique designs.
But should this be the goal of design?
Webmaster Yaron Schoen argued that users have been programmed by experience to expect certain stylistic and interactive choices in digital products. Therefore, designers should cater to their needs instead of changing up interfaces for the sake of being unique.
Homogeneity in digital product design is not a bad thing, if it ultimately benefits the user and eases usage for him/her.”
So, the first goal of a designer should be to design in a way that is easily comprehendible and enjoyable. Homogeneity should not be sacrificed unless it paves the way for better functionality, usability or accessibility.
>> Originally from Medium
Image source: Karolina Grabowska @ Pexels
Shared by Ying Yi, Content Marketer
3) Hyperlinks: Yay or Nay?
Should links be deliberately excluded from online articles, essays and blog posts?
Yes, according to American writer Nicholas Carr. Carr argued that though convenient, hyperlinks lead us astray from fully comprehending an article. Hyperlinks are one amongst many other elements that promote hurried, distracted, and superficial thinking online. Carr’s solution? Use footnotes instead.
Carr’s stance is not without its critics. He’s been accused of wanting to “unbuild the web” and called out for his ironically click bait-y post. Hyperlinks, these critics argue, are less of an invitation to go elsewhere than it used to be with the advent of tabs in browsers.
Over to you now: Do you find links in online articles distracting or useful?
4) Creating Stories That Move People to Act
Storytelling connects with your target audience on an emotional level thereby bringing down their intellectual guards. They are then more inclined to be persuaded by you.
Park Howell, a brand story strategist suggests using the three-act play principle that Hollywood uses to pen down a screen-play.
Act I – Set up the context of your story
Act II – Introduce conflict
Act III – Provide the resolution
Incorporating the three-act play principle into your social media posts helps deliver your message without coming off as 'just another ad'. Howell also suggests including visuals in your story, so that even skim readers can get the gist of your story quickly.
5) The Ideal Email Marketing Frequency
A study from View from the Inbox found that 73% of users who unsubscribe from an email list state “too many emails” as their reason for unsubscribing.
But just how many is “too many”? According to research conducted by many email marketing companies, here’s the rule of thumb:
Send email blasts a minimum of once per month and a maximum of once per week.
Most importantly, (quality) content is king. Do away with ‘filler” content that serve only to justify a more frequent email schedule. Also refrain from sending emails more than once a week if they are not that time sensitive.
Want more digital news? Check out the rest of our 5 Digital Bites b/f Breakfast series!
Image Credits & Sources
Header image: Nolan Isaac @ Unsplash