The User Experience of an Empty Space

What Are Empty States?

Designing for an “empty space” can be a challenging, yet rewarding task to get users to take action with you app / website.

An empty state is what the user sees when there is no data to display on the screen. This could be because:

  • The user has only just signed up.
  • The user has cleared the data themselves.
  • There’s been an error.

Getting a user’s attention with an empty space is crucial for getting them to take the next steps in a service and keep them interested in the process.

Human users needs software to be:

  • Pleasurable
  • Usable
  • Reliable
  • Functional

The types of pleasure users can be offered:

  • Positivity
  • Surprise
  • Uniqueness
  • Attention

Make sure your users know why they are seeing an empty space and give them actions to take to fill that space. This is a pretty largely overlooked part of the user experience.


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