Why an empty state or zero-data state matters

marsicdev | 2016-02-27

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An empty state, or zero-data state, is an afterthought for many designers. Sometimes this is the mock that I get last from designers  — if at all — because it’s a temporary or minor part of the user experience. But empty states are not minor as they seam on first sight.

Empty states are just as important as other design components because UX is the sum of all parts working harmoniously. User interfaces requires a delicate balance of information and action. A blank state can stand between your user and the UI work you have done, and hence warrants a lot of attention.

These empty states are commonly known as first use, user cleared, and errors. Consider a “first-use” empty state alone, or preferably as part of a cohesive onboarding experience.

The first goal with an empty state is to teach people how to use your app. Your onboarding video or tour can do this you think, but users might skip these or fail to absorb all the information, so it’s important to treat first-use empty states (and all the others) as a user’s first experience with your application. If they don’t understand the functionality, they’ll remove your app. With empty states you can help users get comfortable by setting expectations for what’ll happen.

For a good design each empty state is an opportunity to avoid users confusion and help them get what they want. It may not seem like much, but if your first empty state looks a little different from similar products, you’ve shown the user that your entire product experience will likely be different, too.

Making a good first impression is important, but true success in your first empty state means driving an action. Make your user want to fill that screen. A well thought out empty state usually includes an explanation of what should be there and a call to action to engage the user to start on a specific task.

Make sure that you have custom designed empty state for you app it will improve a UX of your app a lot. If you want to do things right way you should not pay attention only on empty states but you should have design for various UI states.

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